Matrix metalloproteinase levels in children with aggressive periodontitis

Barnett Alfant, Luciana M. Shaddox, Jeffrey Tobler, Ingvar Magnusson, Ikramuddin Aukhil, Clay Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of host-derived proteinases reported to mediate multiple functions associated with periodontal destruction and inflammation. Most of the existing data have been gathered from adults with chronic periodontitis. The purpose of this study was to determine the MMP levels in a cohort of African American children with and without aggressive periodontitis. Methods: Gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) was collected in a cohort of 44 African American children, 7 to 19 years of age, with and without aggressive periodontitis (AgP) and compared to healthy unrelated children and to adults with chronic periodontitis (CP). GCF volume was determined with a calibrated gingival fluid meter. The samples were assayed for MMP-1, -2, -3, -8, -9, -12, and -13 using fluorimetric substrates. Results: The MMP levels from diseased sites in the subjects with AgP were statistically higher (P <0.05) in almost all instances than those associated with the unrelated controls or with the subjects with CP. MMP-8 was significantly elevated in the diseased sites of the children with AgP relative to non-diseased sites in the same children (P = 0.002), as well as the siblings, non-diseased controls, and subjects with CP (P <0.0001). There was no positive correlation between probing depth and any MMP level. Conclusions: MMP levels were elevated in AgP sites relative to non-diseased sites in the same subjects, in siblings, and in unrelated controls. MMPs associated with the AgP sites in children were generally elevated compared to an adult cohort with a history of CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-826
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Periodontology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Children
  • Metalloproteinases
  • Periodontitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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