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The Role of Factors Associated With Apoptosis in Assessing Periodontal Disease Status

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Little is known about the release of apoptotic proteins during periodontal breakdown. This pilot study investigates the presence of factors associated with apoptosis in serum, saliva, and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) and their association with periodontal disease severity and activity.


GCF, whole saliva, and serum were obtained from 47 adult patients with chronic periodontitis (CP) and 10 healthy controls. Clinical measurements, including probing depth (PD), clinical attachment level (CAL), and radiographs, were used to classify patients into healthy, mild, and moderate/severe CP groups. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to measure apoptosis or DNA fragmentation in GCF and active caspase-3, soluble Fas (sFas), and sFas ligand (sFasL) in saliva and serum. Western immunoblotting was used to detect Fas, FasL, sFasL, and caspase-3 expression in GCF.


DNA fragmentation was positively correlated with PD and CAL regardless of patient disease status (P <0.001). sFas and sFasL were present in saliva and serum, but there were no differences between groups. In GCF, the greater odds of detecting Fas, sFasL, and caspase-3 increased with increasing PD and CAL (P <0.05). In addition, sites with inflammation and PD ≥5 mm had significantly greater odds of exhibiting Fas, sFasL, and caspase-3 expression compared with sites without inflammation and PD <5 mm (P <0.05). Caspase-3 was not detected in saliva or serum. At the patient level, only FasL and disease status were significantly correlated (P <0.05).


Factors associated with apoptosis were detected in GCF in patients with CP.

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