Study supported by Imagenetix, Inc.

Inflammatory pathways are involved in the pathophysiology of periodontitis. Studies have suggested a role for monounsaturated fatty acids in inflammation control. This study evaluated the therapeutic effects of the monounsaturated fatty acid mixture 1-tetradecanol (1-TDC) in 18 rabbits with experimentally induced periodontitis. Topical 1-TDC may protect against adverse inflammatory changes in experimentally induced Porphyromonas gingivalis periodontitis. Periodontitis was induced in experimental phase I (6 weeks) through application of P gingivalis to premolar ligatures; phase II involved 1-TDC application to the same site. Three rabbits were euthanized after periodontitis induction to confirm periodontal lesions, and 15 rabbits entered phase II (6 weeks). Rabbits were stratified into 3 groups of 5. P gingivalis application was discontinued in phase II, and topical treatments of 1-TDC (n = 5) or a mineral oil placebo (n = 5) were instituted. The third group (n = 5) received no treatment. Rabbits were euthanized, and mandible block sections were treated, decalcified, and embedded in paraffin. Histomorphometry and cellular inflammatory infiltrates were examined in all sections. P gingivalis application resulted in periodontal disease, gingival and periodontal inflammation, and severe bone loss. 1-TDC therapy diminished progression of periodontal disease. Periodontal inflammation, gingivitis, attachment and bone loss was significantly reduced with 1-TDC treatment. Accordingly, periodontal disease and inflammation continued in the other 2 phase II groups. In addition, 1-TDC treatment caused reduced osteoclast activity and inflammatory infiltrates. This suggested that 1-TDC topical treatment mitigated the progression of P gingivalis–induced periodontitis in the present study, and should be considered in the treatment of chronic periodontal disease progression.

Commentary: This study in rabbits suggested that a topical novel monounsaturated fatty acid mixture could be used as a therapeutic approach for controlling the progression of chronic periodontal disease. There is evidence that this topical treatment resulted in decreased periodontal inflammation, attachment, and bone loss as induced by experimental infection with P gingivalis in rabbits. Various Porphyromonas species have been implicated in the progression of periodontitis in dogs. Additional studies are required to determine whether fatty acid mixtures halt the progression of periodontitis associated with other Porphyromonas species implicated in periodontal disease in companion animals.

1-tetradecanol complex: Rherapeutic actions in experimental periodontitis. Hastruk H, Goguet-Surmenian E, Blackwood A, et al. J PERIODONTOL 80:1103-1113, 2009.