Circulating undercarboxylated osteocalcin and gingival crevicular fluid tumour necrosis factor-α in children

J Clin Periodontol. 2014 May;41(5):467-72. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12232. Epub 2014 Feb 17.


Background: Osteocalcin, a protein secreted by osteoblasts during bone formation, is negatively associated with adult periodontal disease. Little is known about this association in children.

Aim: To examine the extent to which plasma undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) is associated with gingival crevicular fluid tumour necrosis factor-alpha (GCF TNF-α) - a potential marker of gingival inflammation - in children.

Methods: We used data from the Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle InvesTigation in Youth cohort, an ongoing longitudinal study on the natural history of obesity among Caucasian children with a family history of obesity in Quebec, Canada. This cross-sectional analysis from the baseline visit includes 120 children aged 8-10 years. Plasma ucOC and GCF TNF-α levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Linear regression analyses, adjusting for age, gender, family income, sexual maturity stage, daily physical activity, obesity, and fasting glucose were conducted, with TNF-α level as the dependent variable.

Results: A 1-ng/ml increase in ucOC was associated with a 0.96% decrease (95% confidence interval (CI): -1.69, -0.23) in GCF TNF-α level.

Conclusion: A negative association between a marker of bone formation and a marker of gingival inflammation was observed as early as childhood among Caucasian children with a family history of obesity.

Keywords: bone; gingivitis; inflammation; obesity; osteocalcin; periodontal diseases; tumour necrosis factor-alpha.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Calculus / classification
  • Dental Plaque / classification
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Gingival Crevicular Fluid / chemistry*
  • Gingivitis / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Osteocalcin / blood*
  • Osteogenesis / physiology
  • Periodontal Index
  • Sexual Maturation
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis*


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Osteocalcin