Leptin-deficient obesity is associated with various systemic diseases including diabetes and low bone mass phenotype. However, the periodontal status of leptin-deficient obese individuals is still unclear. In this study, we aimed to analyze the periodontal status, alveolar bone phenotype, and oral microbiome status in leptin-deficient obese mice (ob/ob mice).
This study used 12-week-old wild-type and ob/ob male mice. The alveolar bone phenotype and periodontal status in the maxilla were analyzed by micro-CT and histological analysis. Osteoclasts in alveolar bone were visualized by TRAP staining. Expressions of inflammatory markers (MMP-9, IL-1β, and TGF-β1) and osteoclastogenic markers (RANKL and OPG) in periodontium were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and RT-qPCR. The oral microbiome was analyzed by 16 S rDNA sequencing.
CEJ-ABC distance in maxillary molars (M1-M3) of ob/ob mice was significantly higher compared with that of wild-type. The alveolar bone BV/TV ratio was reduced in ob/ob mice compared with wild-type. Higher numbers of osteoclasts were observed in ob/ob mice alveolar bone adjacent to the molar root. Epithelial hyperplasia in gingiva and disordered periodontal ligaments was observed in ob/ob mice. RANKL/OPG expression ratio was increased in ob/ob mice compared with wild-type. Expressions of inflammatory markers MMP-9, IL-1β, and TGF-β1 were increased in ob/ob mice compared with wild-type. Oral microbiome analysis showed that beneficial bacteria Akkermansia and Ruminococcaceae_UCG_014 were more abundant in the wild-type mice while the inflammation-related Flavobacterium was more abundant in ob/ob mice.
In conclusion, ob/ob mice showed higher expressions of inflammatory factors, increased alveolar bone loss, lower abundance of the beneficial bacteria, and higher abundance of inflammatory bacteria in the oral cavity, suggesting leptin-deficient obesity as a risk factor for periodontitis development in ob/ob mice.

© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Periodontal Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.