Clopidogrel enhances mesenchymal stem cell proliferation following periodontitis
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Bone formation is dependent on the differentiation of osteoblasts from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). In addition to serving as progenitors, MSCs reduce inflammation and produce factors that stimulate tissue formation. Upon injury, MSCs migrate to the periodontium, where they contribute to regeneration. We examined the effect of clopidogrel and aspirin on MSCs following induction of periodontitis in rats by placement of ligatures. We showed that after the removal of ligatures, which induces resolution of periodontal inflammation, clopidogrel had a significant effect on reducing the inflammatory infiltrate. It also increased the number of osteoblasts and MSCs. Mechanistically, the latter was linked to increased proliferation of MSCs in vivo and in vitro. When given prior to inducing periodontitis, clopidogrel had little effect on MSC or osteoblasts numbers. Applying aspirin before or after induction of periodontitis did not have a significant effect on the parameters measured. These results suggest that clopidogrel may have a positive effect on MSCs in conditions where a reparative process has been initiated.