Original Article

Plumbagin suppresses chronic periodontitis in rats via down-regulation of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 expression

Authors: Xin-yi ZHENG, Chuan-yuan MAO, Han QIAO, Xi ZHANG, Li YU, Ting-yu WANG, Er-yi LU


Chronic periodontitis (CP) is one of the most common oral diseases, which causes alveolar bone absorption and tooth loss in adults. In this study we aimed to investigate the potential of plumbagin (PL), a widely-investigated active compound extracted from the traditional Chinese herb Plumbago zeylanica L in treating CP. Human periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) were used for in vitro studies, whereas an animal model of CP was established in SD rats by ligation+Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) stimulation. The rats were injected with PL (2, 4, and 6 mg·kg-1·d-1, ip) for 4 weeks. Treatment of PDLSCs with TNF-α (10 ng/mL) markedly stimulated the expression of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6, as well as the chemokines CCL-2 and CCL-5, which were dosedependently suppressed by co-treatment with PL (1.25–5 μmol/L). Furthermore, PL (3.75 μmol/L) markedly suppressed TNF-α-induced activation of the MAPK, NF-κB and JAK/STAT signaling pathways in PDLSCs. In consistence with the in vitro studies, PL administration significantly decreased the expression of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 in gingiva of the rat with CP, with the dosage 4 mg·kg-1·d-1 showing the best anti-inflammatory effect. Moreover, PL administration decelerated bone destruction in the rat with CP, evidenced by the aveolar bone loss (ABL) and H&E staining results. In conclusion, PL suppresses CP progression in rats by downregulating the expressions of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 and inhibiting the MAPK, NF-κB and JAK/STAT signaling pathways.