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Oral Dis. 1996 Mar;2(1):96-101.

Cellular immunity and hypersensitivity as components of periodontal destruction.

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1
Department of Dentistry, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cellular immunity has been implicated in periodontal destruction for over 25 years. Studies in the 1970s used lymphocyte transformation and lymphokine assays to establish a role for cell-mediated mechanisms in periodontal disease. Immunohistological studies subsequently showed that the formation of gingivitis followed a similar pattern to the formation of a delayed type hypersensitivity reaction. Further functional studies suggested that a T cell/macrophage immunoregulatory imbalance may exist locally in the periodontitis lesion and that this imbalance may be antigen specific. RECENT EVIDENCE: More recently, T cell subsets have been dichotomised on the basis of their cytokine profiles. In general, ThI cells produce IL-2 and IFN-gamma while Th2 cells produce IL-4, IL-5 and IL-6. The major function of Th1 cells is to mediate delayed type hypersensitivity. In contrast the major function of Th2 cells is to provide B cell help.

HYPOTHESIS:

A model for periodontal disease has now been developed based on this functional dichotomy which provides a framework for the study of cytokine profiles in periodontal disease. Early studies in this context have demonstrated a higher proportion of IL-4 producing cells in periodontitis tissues suggesting a role for Th2 cells in the progressive lesion. Clonal studies have shown that the selection of a particular cytokine profile is not antigen dependent and that differences may be due to the host susceptibility although this remains to be determined.

CONCLUSION:

These emerging data clearly establish a role for cell-mediated mechanisms in the control of periodontal destruction and raise the possibility that in the future cytokine therapy for the treatment of periodontal disease in susceptible subjects may become a viable option.

PMID:
8957943
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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