Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulates proliferation and migration of endothelial cells, and correlates with inflammatory resolution and periodontal tissue healing. Enamel matrix derivative (EMD) seems to stimulate soft tissue healing. Our aim was to assess if topical EMD application in an instrumented periodontal pocket could affect angiogenesis at the gingival level. Methods: A total of 56 periodontal sites in 28 patients were treated with a single session of comprehensive scaling and root planing under local anesthesia after recording the clinical attachment level (CAL). EMD gel in the test site or only the vehicle propylene glycol alginate in aqueous solution in the control site of the same mouth was applied onto the root surfaces and into the pocket and left in place for 3 minutes. After 48 hours, gingival biopsies were collected for histologic and immunohis to chemical analysis for VEGF and CD34 (for micro-vessel density [MVD] count) antibodies. Statistical comparisons were performed by analysis of variance test. Results: Endothelial VEGF expression and MVD were statistically different in the test site compared to the control site. VEGF expression and MVD of the control site were not correlated with CAL, whereas the test site showed high correlations among CAL and endothelial VEGF or MVD. Conclusions: EMD induces proliferation and viability and angio-genesis of human microvascular cells. Recent clinical and histologic studies found EMD to be useful as an adjunct to scaling and root planing in single-rooted teeth. Our findings may help to understand the mechanisms involved in soft tissue healing, through the ability of EMD to increase angiogenesis at periodontal pockets.
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