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J Periodontal Res. 2013 Dec;48(6):810-4. doi: 10.1111/jre.12070. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Relationship between salivary leukotriene B4 levels and salivary mucin or alveolar bone resorption, in subjects with periodontal health and disease.

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Biophysics Unit, School of Dentistry, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Here we determine the salivary levels of leukotriene B4 (LTB4 ) and its relation with salivary mucin and alveolar bone level.


LTB4 is a membrane-derived lipid mediator formed from arachidonic acid. It is among the most potent stimulants of polymorphonuclear leukocytes providing the first host defense against infections. Leukotrienes also induce bone resorption. Because LTB4 is present in the oral cavity the aim of the present study was to explore the role of LTB4 in patients with periodontal disease.


Eighty-one subjects were clinically examined and distributed into four groups, namely, clinically healthy, mild, moderate and severe periodontitis, according to periodontal status, classified into values of clinical attachment level and probing pocket depth. Unstimulated saliva was collected for 5 min. Salivary LTB4 was determined by an immune assay method, mucin was determined by a colorimetric method and radiographic assessment used to determine alveolar bone level.


Patients with mild periodontitis showed a decrease in salivary LTB4 levels while patients with severe periodontitis showed increased LTB4 levels. A significant positive correlation was observed between salivary LTB4 and clinical attachment level, salivary mucin concentration or alveolar bone level.


The close relation between salivary LTB4 and mucin levels suggested that LTB4 might be involved in the defense mechanism of the oral cavity. The correlation of LTB4 with the alveolar bone level indicates that they are one of the mediators responsible for bone resorption.


leukotriene B4; mucin; periodontitis; saliva

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