Variables of host response in saliva of patients with periodontitis: a pilot study

Quintessence Int. 2012 Sep;43(8):e104-14.


Objective: Periodontitis is an infection that results from an imbalance between periodontopathic microorganisms and the local and systemic host defense. This study analyzed saliva samples of patients with periodontitis for several biomarkers of host response.

Method and materials: Saliva was collected from 13 patients with chronic periodontitis, seven patients with aggressive periodontitis, and 13 periodontally healthy control subjects. Diverse markers of host response representing innate and adaptive immune response as well as antioxidative variables were determined.

Results: Patients with aggressive periodontitis had significantly higher values of lipid peroxidation and cathepsin C activity in saliva. The highest activities of neutrophil elastase, proteinase 3, and superoxide dismutase were measured in chronic periodontitis patients. Levels of antimicrobial peptides HNPs 1-3 were significantly highest in chronic periodontitis patients than in aggressive periodontitis or control subjects. Immunoglobulin G levels directed against Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans were highest in aggressive periodontitis patients, while those directed against Porphyromonas gingivalis were highest in chronic periodontitis patients. Immunoglobulin A levels directed against these periodontopathogens did not differ among the groups.

Conclusion: Chronic periodontitis patients showed higher levels of markers primarily associated with combating infection. The levels of markers known mainly for tissue damage were higher in aggressive periodontitis patients. Neutrophil-related markers may be able to identify and differentiate patients with periodontitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Adult
  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / immunology
  • Aggressive Periodontitis / enzymology
  • Aggressive Periodontitis / immunology*
  • Aggressive Periodontitis / microbiology
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cathepsin C / metabolism
  • Chronic Periodontitis / enzymology
  • Chronic Periodontitis / immunology*
  • Chronic Periodontitis / microbiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Leukocyte Elastase / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myeloblastin / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Pilot Projects
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / immunology
  • Saliva / immunology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • alpha-Defensins / immunology*
  • alpha-Defensins / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Biomarkers
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • alpha-Defensins
  • Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Cathepsin C
  • Leukocyte Elastase
  • Myeloblastin