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J Periodontal Res. 2000 Apr;35(2):102-7.

Effect of interleukin-1 gene polymorphisms on gingival inflammation assessed by bleeding on probing in a periodontal maintenance population.

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Department of Periodontology and Fixed Prosthodontics, University of Berne, Switzerland.


Bleeding on probing (BOP) is the most significant clinical parameter for the assessment of periodontal inflammation. The aim of this prospective longitudinal trial was to study the association between allelic variants of the IL-1 gene complex and gingival inflammation. Three hundred and twenty-three randomly selected periodontal maintenance patients (64.4% females) received a periodontal examination that included probing depth measurements and BOP at each of 4 supportive periodontal therapy (SPT) appointments. A blood sample taken from each subject was analysed for the presence of specific allotypes of the IL-1 gene complex. Two polymorphisms located at +4845 bp in the IL-1 alpha region and at +3954 bp in the IL-1 beta region were evaluated by a polymerase chain reaction method; 35.3% of the examined subjects were positive for specific combinations of allotypes of the IL-1 gene complex previously associated with an increased risk for severe periodontitis. The population consisted of 90 current smokers and 94 former smokers. An analysis of the association between the IL-1 genotype and BOP in the whole population (including smokers) did not reach statistical significance because of the overriding effect of smoking. A subset analysis of the 139 never smokers indicated that genotype positive patients had a significantly elevated chance of presenting an increase in the BOP% over a 4-appointment recall period (p = 0.03) after correcting for oral hygiene. In fact, patients who were genotype-negative had a 50% smaller chance of showing increases in BOP% during SPT. A further analysis explored the relationship between the genotype and the level of BOP% at the most recent recall visit. A generalized linear model showed a statistically significant effect of the genotype status after correcting for plaque accumulation and prevalence of residual pockets (> or = 5 mm). Genotype-negative subjects had significantly lower BOP% (p = 0.0097). It is concluded that the increased BOP prevalence and incidence observed in IL-1 genotype-positive subjects indicates that some individuals have a genetically determined hyper-inflammatory response that is expressed in the clinical response of the periodontal tissues.

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