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Clin Exp Immunol. 2007 Apr;148(1):119-26.

Interleukin-6 expression and gene polymorphism are associated with severity of periodontal disease in a sample of Brazilian individuals.

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Laboratory of Cell-Cell Interactions, Department of Morphology, ICB, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.


Interleukin (IL)-6 is an inflammatory mediator involved in bone resorption. G/C polymorphism at position -174 of the IL-6 gene has been reported to influence IL-6 expression, with the G allele associated with higher expression levels. The aims of this study were to investigate the expression of IL-6 as well as the incidence of IL-6 (-174) gene polymorphism and their correlation to the severity of periodontitis in Brazilians. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected from 12 non-smoker individuals with periodontitis for evaluation of IL-6 expression using flow cytometry. We observed a positive correlation between the mean clinical attachment loss and intensity of expression of IL-6, in which the greater the attachment loss, the higher the expression of IL-6 (P=0 x 007, R2=0 x 52). Also, patients with severe periodontitis displayed a higher intensity of IL-6 expression compared to moderate periodontitis (P=0 x 04). To determine the occurrence of IL-6 gene polymorphism, DNA was obtained from oral swabs of 209 Brazilian individuals with and without periodontitis. Polymerase chain reaction, restriction endonuclease digestion and electrophoresis were performed, allowing for detection of the IL-6 (-174) polymorphism. We observed that non-smokers with moderate periodontitis (P=0 x 05) and control (P=0 x 04) groups displayed a higher incidence of the G genotype when compared to severe periodontitis. This suggests that the G genotype may represent a protective role in severity of periodontitis. Thus, the increased expression of IL-6 and IL-6 (-174) polymorphism are associated with periodontal disease severity in Brazilian individuals.

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