The purpose of this study was to examine the expression levels of the dental pulp to elucidate the role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and CD68 on vascular angiogenesis, inflammation and odontoblast differentiation in the pulp tissue of diabetic rats depending on the effect of possible damage induced by diabetes. Wistar rats were used in the study, divided into two groups. Control group was fed with standard rat chow and drinking water ad libitum for 8 weeks. Single dose of streptozotocin (STZ) (55 mg/kg), was disolved in sodium citrate buffer and administered by intraperitoneal injection. Blood glucose concentration of rats exceeding 250 mg/dl were accepted as diabetic. Rats were sacrificed under anesthesia. Tissues were immediately dissected, fixed and embedded in paraffin and cut with a microtome then examined under light microscope. In the cross-sections of pulp tissue of diabetic group; the dilation of blood vessels besides hemorrhage and a significant increase in inflammatory cells were seen. The expression of VEGF in the blood vessel endothelial cells of the pulp was increased. VEGF showed positive reaction for degenerative odontoblast cells in the pulp. In this study, increase in VEGF and CD68 expressions in pulp tissue due to the effect of diabetes was thought to delay pulp treatment by inducing soft tissue damage and hypoxia.
KEY WORDS: VEGF; CD68; Diabetes mellitus; Teeth; Rat.