Background: Evidence demonstrates that the thrombomodulin (TM) lectin domain (TMD1) exerts anti-inflammatory functions. Lipopolysaccharides derived from Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg-LPS) are considered a major pathogenic factor for chronic periodontitis, promoting inflammation, osteoclastogenesis and alveolar bone resorption. Herein, we aimed to evaluate the potential therapeutic effect of recombinant TMD1 (rTMD1) in suppression of Pg-LPS-induced osteoclastogenesis and periodontal bone loss. Methods: In vitro, the effects of Pg-LPS, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and rTMD1 on osteoclast differentiation were investigated using receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. In vivo, the effects of rTMD1 treatment were evaluated in a model of experimental periodontitis induced by direct injection of Pg-LPS into the vestibular gingiva. Results: Administration of Pg-LPS to RANKL-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages resulted in upregulation of CD86 and osteoclast marker (eg, Dc-stamp and Trap) gene expression and increase of pro-inflammatory cytokine production (e.g., TNF-α) during osteoclast differentiation, and rTMD1 can attenuate these effects. Also, rTMD1 inhibited Pg-LPS-enhanced in vitro bone resorption in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, TNF-α promoted phosphorylation of p38 and ERK during osteoclast differentiation, and the signal activation can be inhibited by rTMD1. Finally, treatment with rTMD1 hindered Pg-LPS-induced alveolar bone loss in experimental periodontitis in mice. Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that rTMD1 attenuates Pg-LPS-enhanced M1 macrophage polarization, osteoclastogenesis and periodontal bone resorption and thus holds therapeutic promise for periodontitis.
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