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Clin Exp Immunol. 1997 Jan;107(1):166-74.

Relevance of local Th2-type cytokine mRNA expression in immunocompetent infiltrates in inflamed gingival tissue to periodontal diseases.

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Department of Periodontology, Niigata University School of Dentistry, Japan.


It has been suggested that the types of inflammatory round cell infiltrates and the divergence in the cytokine production profile by macrophages and helper T cells regulate the course of infectious or inflammatory diseases, including periodontitis and gingivitis. We examined the expression of IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNA in the inflamed gingiva by in situ hybridization. The results of single-cell analysis were used as data sets for statistical analyses. The density of cells expressing IL-1alpha, IL-4 and IL-5 mRNA was higher in periodontitis than in gingivitis. IL-2 mRNA-expressing cells were almost absent in gingivitis specimens. Principal component analysis disclosed three factors explaining 84.8% of the variance: one accounting for 40.5% of the variance and mainly regulated by IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and TNF-alpha, and two others, explaining 29.9% and 14.4% of the variance, describing the relationship between the types of cytokines derived from macrophages or Th2 type. These results suggest that the cytokines produced by inflammatory cells infiltrating in the gingival tissue are influential on the progression of gingivitis, an acute and reversible inflammatory condition, to chronic and destructive periodontitis. Thus, periodontal disease progression may be regulated by the local cytokine network, and the bias in this network towards a Th2-type cytokine dominance could be an exacerbating factor.

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