The Effect of Age on the Gingival Crevicular Fluid Composition During Experimental Gingivitis. A Pilot Study

Lazaros Tsalikis, * Open Modal Authors Info & Affiliations
The Open Dentistry Journal 1 Mar 2010 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874210601004010013



Cytokines have been proposed as potentially useful diagnostic or prognostic markers of periodontal inflammation related alterations during the experimental gingivitis model. The role of ageing in periodontal disease needs further elucidation; therefore investigations of its influence on host response are needed.


To study the effect of age on interleukins IL -6, IL-8 and TNF-a levels in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) and their correlations to clinical parameters during experimental gingivitis.

Materials and Methods: Five young subjects (20-22 years old) and five old subjects (61-65 years old), all periodontal healthy, participated in this clinical trial. A professional plaque control programme was undertaken to establish healthy gingival conditions at baseline. Plaque index (PI), gingival index (GI) were recorded at 60 sites at baseline, after 21 days of no oral hygiene and one week later after professional cleaning and reestablishment of oral hygiene procedures. A total of 180 samples were analyzed with ELISA for levels of IL -6, IL-8 and TNF-a in gingival crevicular fluid. The examination included the mesiobuccal sites of the Ramfjord teeth. Comparisons between and within groups were performed by non-parametric tests (Mann- Withney) and correlations were sought for with Wilcoxon test. Significance was set at p=0.05.


Results showed significant diferences between the two groups with regard to the plaque and bleeding scores and GCF volume, all of which proved to be more pronounced in old group. With respect to laboratory data, mean cytokine concentrations were in general lower in young group. TNF-a had a steady increase for the adults, which was found to be statistically significant between Days 0 and 21, IL-8 showed a statistically significant decrease at Day 28 in the young group and finally IL-6 showed a fluctuation, which was totally adverse for the two groups at each time point.


Within the limitations of the present study, age cannot be identified as a factor that strongly affects the cytokine expression and fluctuations even in a well-controlled environment of inflammation, such as experimental gingivitis.

Key Words: Experimental gingivitis, gingival crevicular fluid, cytokines, age.
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