Cytokine gene expression profiles during initiation, progression and resolution of periodontitis

Jeffrey L. Ebersole, Sreenatha Kirakodu, Michael John Novak, Arny J. Stromberg, Shu Shen, Luis Orraca, Janis Gonzalez-Martinez, Armando Burgos, Octavio A. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Aim Variations in the expression of cytokines during the progression of periodontitis remain ill-defined. We evaluated the expression of 19 cytokine genes related to T-cell phenotype/function during initiation, progression and resolution of periodontitis, and related these to the expression of soft and bone tissue destruction genes (TDGs). Materials and Methods A ligature-induced periodontitis model was used in rhesus monkeys (M. mulatta) (n = 18). Gingival tissues were taken at baseline pre-ligation, 2 weeks and 1 month (Initiation) and 3 months (progression) post ligation. Ligatures were removed and samples taken 2 months later (resolution). Total RNA was isolated and the Rhesus Gene 1.0 ST (Affymetrix) used for gene expression analysis. Significant expression changes were validated by qRT-PCR. Results Disease initiation/progression was characterized by overexpression of Th17/Treg cytokine genes (IL-1β, IL-6, TGFβ and IL-21) and down-regulation of Th1/Th2 cytokine genes (IL-18 and IL-25). Increased IL-2 and decreased IL-10 levels were seen during disease resolution. Several Th17/Treg cytokine genes positively correlated with TDGs, whereas most Th1/Th2 genes exhibited a negative correlation. Conclusion Initiation, progression and resolution of periodontitis involve over- and underexpression of cytokine genes related to various T-helper subsets. In addition, variations in individual T-helper response subset/genes during disease progression correlated with protective/destructive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-861
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • T-helper cytokines
  • adaptive immunity
  • gingival tissue
  • matrix metalloproteinase
  • periodontitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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