Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Partnerships and Commissions
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share
Science in the News

Exploring Novel Approaches to Inhibit Bone Loss

October 02, 2015

Exploring Novel Approaches to Inhibit Bone Loss

While understanding that inflammation is what underpins gingivitis and periodontal disease, it is the bone loss associated with the latter that is particularly problematic with respect to tooth loss. Shin and colleagues have taken a page out of the vascular disease research playbook and, in a recent publication,1 presented studies examining the potential of a protein known as DEL-1, a leukocyte integrin antagonist, to affect bone loss. Initial experiments with mouse and human osteoclasts in vitro demonstrated that this protein was expressed in osteoclasts and inhibited their bone resorptive function.  

Investigators explored whether a fusion protein construct of DEL-1, DEL-1-Fc, was able to regulate bone loss in vivo. After observing positive results in a mouse model, they then induced periodontitis using ligatures in the posterior maxillary teeth of cynomolgus monkeys and treated them using a split-mouth experimental design. Three days after ligature placement, the monkeys received twice-weekly gingival injections of DEL-1-Fc to one half of the maxilla, while the other half was injected with Fc control; the study lasted for six weeks. They observed greater maxillary bone heights and lower levels of proinflammatory cytokines on the DEL-1-Fc–injected side as compared with the control side.

While a number of questions remain, including efficacy and safety of this protein for ameliorating periodontal disease-related bone loss in humans, ongoing research on DEL-1 may be of interest to dentists.


1. Shin J, Maekawa T, Abe T, et al. DEL-1 restrains osteoclastogenesis and inhibits inflammatory bone loss in nonhuman primates. Sci Transl Med 2015;7(307):307ra155. Abstract available at: "". Accessed October 2, 2015. 

About Science in the News

Science in the News is a service by the American Dental Association (ADA) to its members to present current information about science topics in the news. The ADA is a professional association of dentists committed to the public's oral health, ethics, science and professional advancement; leading a unified profession through initiatives in advocacy, education, research and the development of standards. As a science-based organization, the ADA's evaluation of the scientific evidence may change as more information becomes available. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Content on is for informational purposes only, is neither intended to and does not establish a standard of care, and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. ADA is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.