Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 1197–1208 | Cite as

Influence of obesity on experimental periodontitis in rats: histopathological, histometric and immunohistochemical study

  • Elizangela Partata Zuza
  • Valdir Gouveia Garcia
  • Letícia Helena Theodoro
  • Edilson Ervolino
  • Luiz Fernando Veloso Favero
  • Mariéllen Longo
  • Fernando Salimon Ribeiro
  • Alex Tadeu Martins
  • Luís Carlos Spolidorio
  • José Antônio Sampaio Zuanon
  • Benedicto Egbert Corrêa de Toledo
  • Juliana Rico Pires
Original Article



This study assessed the influence of obesity on the progression of ligature-induced periodontitis in rats.

Materials and methods

Forty-eight adult Wistar rats were randomly divided into two groups: the HL group (n = 24) was fed high-fat animal food to induce obesity, and the NL group (n = 24) was fed normolipidic animal food. Obesity was induced within a period of 120 days, and the induction of experimental periodontitis (EP) was subsequently performed for 30 days. The animals were euthanized after 7, 15, and 30 days, and the jaws were removed for histopathological, histometric, and immunohistochemical analyses. Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa beta ligand (RANKL), and osteoprotegerin (OPG) were analyzed via immunolabeling.


Histological findings indicated that the inflammation was more extensive and lasted longer in the HL⁄EP; however, advanced destruction also occurred in the NL/EP. Greater bone loss was verified in the HL/EP group (2.28 ± 0.35) in the period of 7 days than in the NL/EP group (1.2 ± 0.29). High immunolabeling was identified in the HL/EP group in the initial periods for RANKL and TRAP, whereas the NL⁄EP group presented with moderate immunolabeling for both factors. The HL/EP and NL/EP groups showed low immunolabeling for OPG.


Obesity induced by a high-fat diet influenced alveolar bone metabolism when associated with experimental periodontitis and caused a more severe local inflammatory response and alveolar bone loss.

Clinical relevance

Obesity is related to greater alveolar bone loss and an accentuated local inflammatory response, which may be reflected in the clinical severity of periodontitis and dental loss.


Periodontitis Alveolar bone loss Obesity Body weight Rats Inflammation 



We thank the vivarium technician Darcy Thomaz de Aquino (in memoriam) and Professor Patrícia Rodella for the laboratory analyses at UNIFEB.


This study was financially supported by the São Paulo State Research Foundation—FAPESP, São Paulo, SP, Brazil (process no. 2011/08053-0).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Supplementary material

784_2017_2207_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Table 1 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizangela Partata Zuza
    • 1
    • 2
  • Valdir Gouveia Garcia
    • 3
  • Letícia Helena Theodoro
    • 3
  • Edilson Ervolino
    • 4
  • Luiz Fernando Veloso Favero
    • 5
  • Mariéllen Longo
    • 3
  • Fernando Salimon Ribeiro
    • 5
  • Alex Tadeu Martins
    • 5
  • Luís Carlos Spolidorio
    • 6
  • José Antônio Sampaio Zuanon
    • 6
  • Benedicto Egbert Corrêa de Toledo
    • 7
  • Juliana Rico Pires
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Periodontology, School of DentistryFluminense Federal University (UFF)Rio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Elizangela Partata ZuzaInstituto de Saúde de Nova Friburgo (ISNF)—UFFRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Surgery and Integrated Clinic, School of DentistrySão Paulo State University (Unesp)AraçatubaBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Basic Science, School of DentistrySão Paulo State University (Unesp)AraçatubaBrazil
  5. 5.Department of Dentistry, School of DentistryEducational Foundation of Barretos (Unifeb)BarretosBrazil
  6. 6.Department of Physiology and Pathology, School of DentistrySão Paulo State University (Unesp)AraraquaraBrazil
  7. 7.Department of Diagnosis and Surgery, School of DentistrySão Paulo State University (Unesp)AraraquaraBrazil

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