Induction of prostaglandin E2 and interleukin-6 in gingival fibroblasts by oral biofilms

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Polymicrobial oral biofilms attaching on tooth surfaces can trigger inflammatory responses by the neighbouring tooth-supporting periodontal tissues. An excessive inflammatory response can cause destruction of the periodontal tissues, including the alveolar bone, thus resulting in periodontitis. Mediators of inflammation, such as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and interleukin-6, are primary regulators of alveolar bone destruction in periodontitis. The present study aimed to comparatively investigate the effects of in vitro supragingival and subgingival biofilms, on the regulation of PGE2 and interleukin-6 in human gingival fibroblasts. The cells were challenged with culture supernatants of the two biofilms for 6 h. Cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2, an enzyme responsible for the conversion of PGE2, and interleukin-6 gene expression were analysed by quantitative real-time PCR. The production of PGE2 and interleukin-6 by the cells was analysed by ELISA. While the supragingival biofilm did not induce significant changes, the subgingival biofilm caused an 8.6- and 2.9-fold enhancement of COX-2 and interleukin-6 gene expression, respectively, and a 72.5- and 1.5-fold enhancement of PGE2and interleukin-6 production, respectively. In conclusion, subgingival biofilms are potent inducers of PGE2 in gingival fibroblasts, providing further mechanistic insights into the association of subgingival biofilms with bone resorption periodontitis.

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