Colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor blockade attenuates inflammation in inflamed gingival tissue explants

J Periodontal Res. 2021 Dec;56(6):1141-1153. doi: 10.1111/jre.12926. Epub 2021 Sep 12.


Background and objective: Colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R) regulates myeloid cell function and mediates osteoclastogenesis. CSF-1R blockade has been suggested as a potential therapeutic target to halt inflammation and bone resorption; however, the expression and function of CSF-1R in human gingiva is yet unknown.

Methods: Gingival tissue was collected from 22 non-periodontitis controls and 31 periodontitis (PD) patients. CSF-1R expression in gingival tissue was assessed with q-PCR, western blot, and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Cell surface expression of CSF-1R was analyzed by flow cytometry. The effects of CSF-1R inhibition on the production of inflammatory mediators by inflamed gingival tissue explants and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were assessed with a bead-based multiplex array and ELISA.

Results: CSF-1R protein expression was increased in gingival tissue from PD patients compared with controls as assessed with western blot (1.5-fold increase) and IHC (4.5-fold increase). Similar proportions of HLA-DR+ CD64+ cells and comparable CSF-1R expression in this cell population were found in gingival tissue from PD patients and controls. In peripheral blood monocytes, CSF-1R was predominantly expressed by non-classical and intermediate monocytes. Targeting CSF-1R in gingival tissue explants attenuated the production of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-12, and MMP-13. The blocking in PBMCs attenuated the production of IL-8 and MMP-9.

Conclusion: These results indicate that CSF-1R is elevated in PD, and its inhibition attenuates inflammatory mediators in the inflamed gingival tissue and circulating myeloid cells. Together these findings suggest that CSF-1R might be involved in regulating inflammatory processes in PD, and a potential therapeutic target to reduce the harmful inflammation.

Keywords: colony-stimulating factor-1; colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor; interleukin-34; macrophages; monocytes; periodontitis.

MeSH terms

  • Colony-Stimulating Factors
  • Gingiva*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear*
  • Monocytes


  • Colony-Stimulating Factors