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Protective effect of topical Cordia verbenacea in a rat periodontitis model: immune-inflammatory, antibacterial and morphometric assays

Suzana Peres Pimentel1, Guilherme Emerson Barrella1, Renato Corrêa Viana Casarin1, Fabiano Ribeiro Cirano1, Márcio Zaffalon Casati1, Mary Ann Foglio2, Glyn Mara Figueira2 and Fernanda Vieira Ribeiro1*

Author Affiliations

1 Depto de Odontologia, Universidade Paulista – UNIP, Av. Dr. Bacelar, 1212, 4 andar, Vila Clementino, São Paulo, SP, 04026-002, Brazil

2 Multidisciplinary Center for Chemical, Biological and Agricultural Research (CPQBA), Campinas University, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:224  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-224

Published: 21 November 2012



This study evaluated the effects of C. verbenacea essential oil topically administered in a rat periodontitis model.


Periodontitis was induced on rats in one of the mandibular first molars assigned to receive a ligature. Animals were randomly divided into two groups: a) non-treatment group (NT) (n = 18): animals received 1mL of vehicle; b) C. verbenacea group (C.v.) (n = 18): animals received 5mg/Kg of essential oils isolated from C. verbenacea. The therapies were administered topically 3 times daily for 11 days. Then, the specimens were processed for morphometric analysis of bone loss. The ligatures were used for microbiological assessment of the presence of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Tannerella forsythia and Porphyromonas gingivalis using PCR. The gingival tissue was collected to Elisa assay of interleukin (IL)-1α and IL-10 levels.


Bone loss was inhibited by C. verbenacea when compared to the NT group (p < 0.05). A decrease in the levels of IL-1α and increase in the IL-10 amounts was observed in the C.v. group as compared to NT group (p < 0.05). A lower frequency of P. gingivalis was found in C.v. group (p < 0.05).


C. verbenacea essential oil topically administered diminished alveolar bone resorption, promoting a positive local imbalance in the pro/anti-inflammatory system and reducing the frequency of detection of P. gingivalis.

Cordia Verbenaceae; Essential oil; Periodontitis; Alveolar bone loss; Anti-inflammatory; Antibacterial