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AIDS. 2002 Jan 25;16(2):235-43.

Highly increased numbers of leukocytes in inflamed gingiva from patients with HIV infection.

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Departments of Oral Biology, University of Oslo, Norway.



HIV infection increases susceptibility for marginal periodontitis, with horizontal and rapid loss of periodontal soft tissues and alveolar bone.


To examine whether numbers, distribution and some properties of mast cells, neutrophils and macrophages are normal in chronically inflamed gingiva of HIV-positive patients.


Gingival biopsies were stained for mast cell tryptase and chymase, neutrophil elastase, CD68, human transforming growth factor beta(1), HLA-DR, Fc gamma RI, Fc gamma RII and Fc gamma RIII and calprotectin.


Patients at all stages of HIV infection showed radically increased numbers of mast cells and neutrophils throughout the connective tissue, and of macrophages below the oral gingival epithelium (P < 0.05).


HIV infection is associated with increased numbers of mast cells, macrophages and neutrophils in the chronic periodontal lesion. This may predispose for tissue destruction through the release of inflammatory mediators and effector molecules. The unusually heavy cell infiltrate throughout the gingival connective tissue may contribute to the diverging pattern of periodontal tissue loss in HIV-positive patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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