Localized juvenile periodontitis (LJP) is an early-onset periodontal disease characterized by progressive bone loss involving the permanent first molar and incisor teeth. Approximately 70% to 75% of LJP patients have impaired neutrophil chemotaxis towards a number of chemoattractants including N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenyl-alanine, complement fragment C5a, leukotriene B4, and interleukin 8 (IL-8). The aim of the present study was to observe the role of IL-8 in the pathogenesis of LJP. Fourteen individuals who were systemically and periodontally healthy and 24 systemically healthy individuals diagnosed with LJP (based on the results of clinical periodontal assessments and radiographic examination) were recruited for this study. Gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) samples were obtained from anterior teeth in each subject before treatment. After evaluation of GCF amount from paper strips, enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay was employed to determine the amount of IL-8 in GCF. The amount and concentration of IL-8 measured was 894.5 +/- 435 pg, and 445.3 +/- 468 pg/microl for the experimental group and 747.3 +/- 543 pg and 684.7 +/- 548 pg/microl, for the control group. The correlation among the levels of cytokine and clinical parameters was assessed. It was observed that the concentration of IL-8 demonstrated a negative correlation with gingival index in the LJP group. In addition, no significant correlation was found among the total amount and concentration of IL-8, GCF volume, and clinical parameters in the control group. IL-8 is thought to enhance host defense mechanisms against gram-negative bacteria, thus providing protection against periodontal infections. Our data demonstrate that, when both the total amount and concentration of IL-8 are taken into consideration, no significant difference between LJP and healthy subjects is shown. This may indicate a less active IL-8 production compared with healthy subjects in spite of the dense Gram bacterial stimulation in LJP.