Tissue levels of bone resorptive cytokines in periodontal disease

J Periodontol. 1991 Aug;62(8):504-9. doi: 10.1902/jop.1991.62.8.504.


The levels of 3 bone resorptive cytokines, interleukin 1 alpha (IL-1 alpha), IL-1 beta, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha), were assessed in tissues from sites of periodontal disease. As determined by ELISA of tissue extracts, IL-1 beta and TNF alpha were detected in all diseased sites, whereas IL-1 alpha was present in 8/22 sites, IL-1 beta was present in highest concentration (mean +/- SEM: 11,695 +/- 2,888 pg/ml; 672 pM), followed by TNF alpha (434 +/- 135 pg/ml; 26 pM), and IL-1 alpha (342 +/- 160 pg/ml; 20 pM). The levels of all 3 mediators were significantly lower in clinically healthy tissues. There was a highly significant correlation between levels of IL-1 beta and TNF alpha (rs = 0.61, P less than 0.001), suggesting coordinated expression of these 2 mediators. The numbers of cells containing each mediator was also determined by indirect immunofluorescence on frozen tissue sections. Consistent with findings from tissue extracts, IL-1 beta-containing cells were present in approximately 5-fold higher numbers than TNF alpha-containing cells, and 40-fold higher numbers than IL-1-alpha-containing cells. Taken together with previous findings, these results indicate that IL-1 beta is likely to be an important mediator in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / metabolism
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / pathology
  • Alveolar Process / chemistry
  • Alveolar Process / pathology
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Epithelium / chemistry
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gingiva / chemistry*
  • Gingiva / pathology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / analysis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Pocket / metabolism
  • Periodontal Pocket / pathology
  • Periodontitis / metabolism*
  • Periodontitis / pathology
  • Periodontium / chemistry
  • Periodontium / pathology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis*


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • bone resorption factor