Pocket epithelium in the pathological setting for HMGB1 release

J Dent Res. 2011 Feb;90(2):235-40. doi: 10.1177/0022034510385688. Epub 2010 Dec 13.


High-mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) protein acts as a transcription factor in the nucleus and also as a pro-inflammatory cytokine when released into extracellular fluids. The presence of higher levels of HMGB1 is reported in the gingival crevicular fluid from periodontal patients. Since the proliferation of bacteria within the periodontal pocket is closely involved in the exacerbation of periodontal disease, it is hypothesized that the periodontal pocket causes the release of HMGB1. Immunohistochemical staining of inflamed gingiva revealed that HMGB1 is exclusively dislocated from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in the pocket epithelium, whereas it is mainly present in the nucleus in the gingival epithelium. Butyric acid, an extracellular metabolite from periodontopathic bacteria populating the periodontal pocket, induced the passive release of HMGB1 as a result of eliciting necrosis in the human gingival epithelial cell line. Thus, the periodontal epithelium may provide a unique pathological setting for HMGB1 release by bacterial insult.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Butyric Acid / pharmacology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Line
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gingiva / cytology
  • Gingival Crevicular Fluid / chemistry*
  • HMGB1 Protein / analysis
  • HMGB1 Protein / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Necrosis / metabolism
  • Periodontal Pocket / metabolism*
  • Periodontal Pocket / microbiology
  • Periodontal Pocket / pathology
  • Protein Transport
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Virulence Factors / analysis
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism*


  • HMGB1 Protein
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Virulence Factors
  • Butyric Acid