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Genes Immun. 2005 Aug;6(5):448-51.

Chronic periodontal disease is associated with single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the human TLR-4 gene.

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Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene, Charité University Medical Center Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease affecting the connective tissue surrounding the teeth leading to tooth loss. Pathogens associated with periodontitis interact with Toll-like receptors (TLRs) to induce cytokines causing and aggravating disease. We screened 197 individuals suffering from generalized periodontitis for the presence of Asp299Gly and Thr399Ile of TLR-4 as well as Arg753Gln of TLR-2 in comparison to matched controls. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of TLR-4 were elevated among patients (odd's ratio 3.650, 95% CI 1.573-8.467, P < or = 0.0001), while no difference was observed for TLR-2. TLR-4 SNPs were correlated with chronic periodontitis (odd's ratio 5.562, 95% CI 2.199-14.04, P < or = 0.0001), but not with aggressive periodontitis. This observation was confirmed employing a group of periodontally healthy probands over 60 years of age. These data demonstrate that genetic variants of TLR-4 may act as risk factors for the development of generalized chronic periodontitis in humans.

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