Evidence of spreading vasodilation in the human gingiva evoked by nitric oxide
Journal of Periodontal Research
Spreading vasodilation is an important means of increasing local blood flow effectively during increased metabolic demands or in case of vascular injury. Our aim was to develop a technique proving the presence of spreading vasodilation in the human keratinized gingiva. Local vasodilation was evoked by the application of nitric oxide (NO) donor nitroglycerin into a well, fixed 2 mm above the marginal gingiva, in 20 subjects with healthy periodontal tissue. Either 1 or 8 mg/mL nitroglycerin
... nitroglycerin solutions were dropped into the test well at the upper right second incisor, and saline was applied into the control well at the upper left first incisor. The gingival blood flow (GBF) was recorded for 15 minutes by a laser speckle contrast imager below the well and in the surrounding area in the mesial, distal, apical and coronal directions. Gingival thickness was measured by an ultrasonic biometer. Peak GBF increase was similar after 1 mg/mL and after 8 mg/mL nitroglycerin application in the well (51% ± 12% vs 42% ± 8%) and in the apical region (33 ± 9% vs 55% ± 13%). While the lower dose of nitroglycerin increased GBF only in the apical region around the well, the higher dose induced significant elevations in all surrounding regions, with apical prominence. Hyperaemia lasted 10-14 minutes in the low-dose group whereas it extended beyond the observation period in the high-dose group. Neither the baseline nor the NO-induced peak GBF were correlated with gingival thickness. The role of the direct effect of NO in the regulation of perfusion was demonstrated in the human gingiva as well as the propagation of local vasodilation to distant, especially apical areas, probably by the mechanism of flow-mediated dilation. This mechanism may have a clinical importance for flap survival or wound healing.