Article ID: 17-0368
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of prolonged release of iloprost, a prostacyclin analog, on angiogenesis and dental pulp healing in a rat model of mechanical pulp exposure. The profile of iloprost release from poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) microspheres was evaluated, and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA was determined. The molars of rats were subjected to mechanical pulp exposure and 5 different forms of treatment: Ca(OH)2, PLGA (blank), iloprost, and iloprost/PLGA. Blood flow was determined at 0, 3, and 7 days using laser Doppler flowmetry. After 30 days, the tooth specimens were collected, and subjected to micro-CT and immunohistological analysis. The results showed that iloprost release from the microspheres was prolonged for 4 days, and that the treatment increased tooth blood flow for up to 7 days. At 30 days, an increase of mineralized tissue formation and dentin bridge formation was observed in the iloprost and iloprost/PLGA microsphere groups. VEGF expression was significantly increased in the iloprost/PLGA microsphere group relative to the other groups. In conclusion, this PLGA microsphere iloprost delivery system significantly increased dental pulp blood flow in a prolonged manner and increased tertiary dentin formation in this rat pulp injury model. Prolonged prostacyclin release could be a potentially useful approach for regeneration of dental pulp.