Mast cells appear to be associated with human periodontal disease. However, to the best of our knowledge, no studies have evaluated the presence of mast cells in individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) undergoing highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).Methods:
Gingival samples were obtained from 50 individuals with and without HIV who presented with chronic gingivitis and periodontitis. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to identify c-kit and tryptase mast cells. Inflammatory infiltrate was evaluated and quantified in the specimens of gingival tissue. In the inflammatory infiltrate subjacent to the pocket epithelium, the densities of the mast cells were calculated. These results were compared between the groups with and without HIV. Correlations could be drawn between the densities of c-kit and tryptase mast cells and the density of inflammatory infiltrate, cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4)-positive and CD8+ T-lymphocyte levels, and viral loads.Results:
Although the individuals with HIV had higher densities of c-kit or tryptase mast cells than those without HIV, both groups presented with chronic gingivitis or periodontitis, and no statistically significant differences could be observed. Both strong and negative correlations could be observed among the inflammatory infiltrate, c-kit, and tryptase in individuals both with and without HIV. Concerning the chronic gingivitis of the individuals with HIV, both strong and positive correlations could be observed between the density of c-kit and CD8+ T-lymphocyte levels.Conclusions:
Individuals with HIV undergoing HAART, compared with individuals without HIV, had no statistically significant differences in mast cell densities in gingival tissue.