Background: Periodontitis is a multifactorial chronic inflammatory disease characterized by destruction of tooth-supporting tissues. Environmental and genetic factors as well as the immune system participate in this process. Recent studies have attempted to elucidate the role of cytokine networks involved in periodontal diseases.
Objective: To assess and compare the levels of IL-4, IL-6 and IL-12 in serum samples of patients with generalized aggressive periodontitis (GAgP) and control individuals.
Methods: A total of 50 subjects were included in the study of which 25 patients had generalized aggressive periodontitis and 25 were healthy unrelated age and gender matched patients undergoing extraction and surgical crown lengthening (control group). Local blood samples of patients were collected from surgical sites of pocket reduction and from healthy individuals before tooth extraction or crown lengthening from non inflamed sites. The levels of IL-4, IL-6 and IL-12 were determined by an ELISA assay using serum samples separated from the whole blood of both groups.
Results: The level of IL-4 increased significantly in control group in comparison with the test group (p=0.002). The amount of IL-6 in GAgP patients increased strongly compared with control group (p<0.0001). There was no significant difference between the two groups concerning the level of IL-12.
Conclusion: There is an association between generalized aggressive periodontitis and low level of IL-4 as an anti-inflammatory cytokine, and high level of IL-6 as a proinflammatory cytokine. No correlation between IL-12 and generalized aggressive peridontitis was found.