Study to Investigate LPA’s Role in Periodontal Disease

Dentistry Today


The National Institutes of Health has awarded Creighton University School of Dentistry associate professor of oral biology D. Roselyn Cerutis, PhD, a $431,348 grant to study a potential therapy that may help reduce inflammation and bone loss in periodontal disease. 

Cerutis will investigate a molecule in the body called lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). Using a mouse model of periodontal disease, she will determine whether one of the receptors for LPA, LPA1, is the primary regulator of both inflammation and bone loss in periodontal disease.

LPA has been extensively researched in cancer and heart disease, but not in periodontal disease, Cerutis said.

“We want to know if blocking or reducing LPA production in the mouth will help control inflammation and bone loss of periodontal disease,” said Cerutis. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 47.2% of American adults age 30 and older have periodontal disease. Also, periodontal disease has been connected to and exacerbates chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. 

“We now know that the health of your mouth is critical to your overall health,” said Cerutis, who has been studying the role of LPA in periodontal disease with collaborators at the School of Dentistry for the past 20 years. 

“We are the only researchers worldwide who have dedicated ourselves systematically to a long-term research program looking at LPA’s actions in the mouth,” said Cerutis, who hopes the study will lead to new therapies targeting the inflammatory process in the mouth.

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