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J Dent Res. 2004 Feb;83(2):166-9.

Differential expression of RANKL and osteoprotegerin in gingival crevicular fluid of patients with periodontitis.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, School of Dentistry, Aichi-Gakuin University, Nagoya 464-8650, Japan.


The receptor activator for NF-kappaB ligand (RANKL) plays an important role in osteoclast formation. A recent study with animal models suggests the involvement of RANKL in the pathogenesis of this periodontal disease. However, no one has examined the level of RANKL in the body fluid of human subjects. This communication reports on the in vivo concentrations of RANKL and the RANKL decoy receptor osteoprotegerin (OPG) in the gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) of periodontal subjects with severe, moderate, and mild forms of the disease. An increased concentration of RANKL and a decreased concentration of OPG were detected in GCF from patients with periodontitis (*p < 0.05 vs. control subjects). The ratio of the concentration of RANKL to that of OPG in the GCF was significantly higher for periodontal disease patients than for healthy subjects (*p < 0.01). Taken together, these data suggest that RANKL and OPG contribute to osteoclastic bone destruction in periodontal disease.


GCF, gingival crevicular fluid; IL, interleukin; OPG, osteoprotegerin; RANKL, receptor activator for NF-kappaB ligand.

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