Effects of vitamin C intake on gingival oxidative stress in rat periodontitis

Takaaki Tomofuji, Daisuke Ekuni, Toshihiro Sanbe, Koichiro Irie, Tetsuji Azuma, Takayuki Maruyama, Naofumi Tamaki, Jun Murakami, Susumu Kokeguchi, Tatsuo Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Increased levels of oxidative stress due to excessive production of reactive oxygen species are involved in the pathogenesis of periodontitis. Studies suggest a negative association between plasma vitamin C level and the severity of periodontitis. We hypothesized that increases in plasma vitamin C levels after vitamin C intake might clinically reduce gingival oxidative stress in a rat periodontitis model. A ligature was placed around rat mandibular molars for 4 weeks to induce periodontitis, and the rats were then given drinking water with or without 1 g/L vitamin C for 2 weeks after the ligature was removed. The periodontitis-induced rats showed a 149% increase in 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine level and a 40% decrease in reduced:oxidized glutathione ratio in gingival tissue. Vitamin C intake induced a 175% increase in plasma vitamin C level, resulting in an improvement in the gingival 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine level (decreased) and in the reduced:oxidized glutathione ratio (increased). Furthermore, in ligature-induced periodontitis lesions, gene expression encoding inflammation, including interleukin-1α and interleukin-1β, was more than twofold down-regulated by vitamin C intake. The results suggest that systemic administration of vitamin C could be clinically beneficial in improving periodontitis-induced oxidative stress by down-regulating inflammatory gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-168
Number of pages6
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2009


  • Animal studies
  • Free radicals
  • Oxidative stress
  • Periodontitis
  • Vitamin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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