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Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 1997;8(1):76-89.

Cell-mediated immune system regulation in periodontal diseases.

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Department of Oral Science, School of Dentistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.


The adaptive immune system consists of humoral and cell-mediated immunity. T-lymphocytes are the key components of cell-mediated immunity. CD4+ helper T-lymphocytes facilitate B-cells to differentiate and produce specific antibodies, whereas CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocytes kill virally infected cells. Periodontal diseases have been associated with a variety of imbalances in the regulation of immune responses. Changes in the ratios of peripheral blood CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes, depressed proliferative responses of peripheral blood lymphocytes, and increased frequency of CD45RO+ memory T-lymphocytes in diseased tissues have been reported in individuals with various forms of periodontal disease. While some studies have shown an increased frequency of gamma delta + T-cells in periodontal lesions, the role of gamma delta + T-cells in periodontal disease remains controversial. The ability of putative periodontopathic bacteria selectively to stimulate certain V beta-expressing T-cells is intriguing and could determine whether a CD4+ Th1 or a CD4+ Th2 cell response is elicited. The prominence of a particular subset of helper T-cells within the periodontal lesion could be a reflection of the stage and activity of the disease, or the types of bacteria present. Regardless, longitudinal studies of the involvement of T-cell subsets and cytokines in periodontal disease are clearly needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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