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Open Access Prevalence of Food Impaction-Induced Periodontitis in Conventionally Housed Marsh Rice Rats (Oryzomys palustris)

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Marsh rice rats (Oryzomys palustris) fed a pelleted diet high in sucrose and casein have been used as a model for moderate to severe periodontitis. Here we characterize the prevalence, location, and histopathologic features of food-impaction lesions (FIL), a unique type of oral event, in rice rats fed standard pelleted rodent chow from weaning until 34 wk of age. Healthy female rats (n = 90; age, 4 wk) were weaned into groups (n = 10 to 24) and were euthanized at 4, 16, 22, 28, or 34 wk of age. At necropsy, high-resolution photographs of the 4 jaw quadrants were examined by 3 independent observers to determine the presence, number, and location of FIL. In addition, gross periodontitis was scored (scale, 0 to 4), and the hemimaxillar surface area containing FIL was measured. Serial sections of decalcified jaws were assessed histologically. The prevalence of FIL increased with age, and was 0% (baseline), 59.1%, 69.6%, 81.8% and 80.0% in rats at age 4, 16, 22, 28, and 34 wk, respectively. FIL were predominantly located (93.9%) in the maxillary palatal surfaces of the interproximal area between molars 2 and 3 and did not affect mandibular surfaces. The percentage of the hemimaxillar surface area occupied by FIL was 6.83%, 4.82%, 2.88%, and 6.52% in rats at age 16, 22, 28, and 34 wk, respectively. Histopathologic changes in FIL varied from localized gingivitis to larger, localized periodontitis-like lesions. These data indicate that FIL are common in rice rats fed standard rodent chow, are slight to mild in severity, and are localized to specific regions in the oral cavity, thus suggesting they may be a suitable model for local maxillary periodontitis when fed standard rodent chow.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Physiological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 2: Animal Care Services, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 3: Department of Physiological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: February 1, 2017

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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