Background: Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) have a higher prevalence and severity of periodontal disease, which cannot be explained by poor oral hygiene alone and is related to changes in the immune response. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether DS was associated with differential modulation of expression of genes associated with proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses in periodontal disease.
Methods: A total of 51 individuals were evaluated: 19 individuals with DS and periodontal disease (group 1), 20 euploid individuals with periodontal disease (group 2; positive control), and 12 euploid individuals without periodontal disease (group 3; negative control). Clinical periodontal evaluation and gingival biopsies were performed. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was used to determine expression levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10), the receptors IL-10RA and IL-10RB, intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), interferon-γ-inducible protein 10 (IP-10), and the signaling intermediates Janus kinase 1, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT-3), and suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS-3).
Results: Expression of IL10, SOCS3, IP10, and ICAM1 mRNA in DS patients was significantly lower compared to euploid individuals with periodontal disease, whereas IL-10RB and STAT-3 mRNA levels were higher in individuals with DS.
Conclusion: Reduced expression of IL-10 coupled with a possible increase of STAT3 activation (increase of STAT3 and reduction of SOCS3 mRNA) indicates an important modulation of the immune response, with attenuation of anti-inflammatory and increase of proinflammatory mediators. This modulation may be related to the increased prevalence and severity of periodontitis in individuals with DS.