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J Periodontol. 2004 Jan;75(1):37-43.

Interleukin-11 and IL-17 and the pathogenesis of periodontal disease.

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Department of Periodontics, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216-4505, USA.



Interleukin (IL)-11 and IL-17 are cytokines that modulate the inflammatory process and have not been assessed within normal or inflamed gingival tissues. Our purpose was to compare concentrations of human IL-11 and IL-17 within healthy and diseased human gingiva to determine their possible role in the initiation or progression of periodontal diseases.


Biopsies from healthy (non-hemorrhagic gingiva adjacent to a < or = 3 mm gingival sulcus) and diseased gingiva (hemorrhagic gingiva adjacent to a > or = 3 mm periodontal pocket) were studied. IL-11, IL-17, RANTES, and IL-6 concentrations were assessed within solubilized gingival biopsies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Data were compared by factorial analysis of variance and a post-hoc Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD) test. Regression analysis and partial correlation analysis (adjusted for sample weight) were also used to determine correlations between the variables.


Interleukin-11 concentrations were highest within gingiva adjacent to 3 mm diseased pockets (P < 0.001), and IL-17 concentrations were highest at 4 to 5 mm sites compared to other sites (P < 0.001). Gingival concentrations of both cytokines were significantly lower in gingiva adjacent to a > or = 6 mm pocket. RANTES concentrations were significantly greater in gingiva adjacent to > or = 6 mm pockets than in tissues derived from other sites (P < 0.001). IL-11, IL-6, and RANTES concentrations were significantly correlated with sulcular depth.


Gingival concentrations of IL-11 and IL-17 are different in diseased gingiva adjacent to 3, 4 to 5, and > or = 6 mm pockets, suggesting that their concentrations change as a consequence of the progression of gingivitis to periodontitis and that both cytokines could have a significant role in this progression. These data may be useful for the design of procedures for prevention of periodontal disease.

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