Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Association of human T lymphotropic virus 1 amplification of periodontitis severity with altered cytokine expression in response to a standard periodontopathogen infection.

BACKGROUND: Periodontal diseases (PDs) are infectious diseases in which periodontopathogens trigger chronic inflammatory and immune responses that lead to tissue destruction. Recently, viruses have been implicated in the pathogenesis of PDs. Individuals infected with human T lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1) present with abnormal oral health and a marked increased prevalence of periodontal disease.

METHODS: In this study, we investigated the patterns of periodontopathogen infection and local inflammatory immune markers in HTLV-1-seropositive individuals with chronic periodontitis (CP/HTLV-1 group) compared with HTLV-1-seronegative individuals with chronic periodontitis (CP group) and periodontally healthy, HTLV-1-seronegative individuals (control group).

RESULTS: Patients in the CP/HTLV-1 group had significantly higher values of bleeding on probing, mean probing depth, and attachment loss than patients in the CP group. The expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin (IL) 4 was found to be similar in the CP and CP/HTLV-1 groups, whereas IL-12 and IL-17 levels trended toward a higher expression in the CP/HTLV-1 group. A significant increase was seen in the levels of IL-1beta and interferon gamma in the CP/HTLV-1 group compared with the CP group, whereas expression of the regulatory T cell marker FOXp3 and IL-10 was significantly decreased in the lesions from the CP/HTLV-1 group. Interestingly, similar frequency and/or load of periodontopathogens (Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, Treponema denticola, and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans) and frequency of viruses (herpes simplex virus 1, human cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr virus) characteristically associated with PDs were found in the CP/HTLV and CP groups.

CONCLUSIONS: HTLV-1 may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease through the deregulation of the local cytokine network, resulting in an exacerbated response against a standard periodontopathogen infection.

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