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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cigarette smoke extract modulates human beta-defensin-2 and interleukin-8 expression in human gingival epithelial cells.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Human gingival epithelial cells (HGECs) are continually exposed to oral bacteria and to other harmful agents. Their responses to stimuli are critical in maintaining periodontal homeostasis. The aim of this study was to investigate the modulating effect of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on the innate immune responses of HGECs. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression of HGECs was determined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The effect of CSE or nicotine on the expression of the antimicrobial peptide human beta-defensin-2 (hBD-2) and the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-8 in stimulated HGEC cultures was evaluated by RT-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: The HGECs expressed mRNA of TLRs 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, and minimally of TLR4, but not of TLRs 7 or 8. Stimulation of HGECs with highly purified TLR2, 3 or 5 ligands led to expression of hBD-2 and of IL-8. Enhancement of hBD-2 and IL-8 was observed in HGECs after combined stimulation with Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide (TLR2 ligand) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha, compared with stimulation using either agent alone. After CSE exposure, hBD-2 expression was markedly reduced in stimulated HGEC cultures, whereas IL-8 expression was markedly increased. These effects were also observed, but were markedly attenuated, upon nicotine treatment. CONCLUSION: Human gingival epithelial cells play a critical role in orchestrating the innate immune responses of periodontal tissue via TLR signalling. Our results represent the first demonstration that CSE can modulate HGEC function by suppressing hBD-2 and enhancing IL-8 production, and this may be, in part, a possible mechanism which promotes periodontal disease.[1]


  1. Cigarette smoke extract modulates human beta-defensin-2 and interleukin-8 expression in human gingival epithelial cells. Mahanonda, R., Sa-Ard-Iam, N., Eksomtramate, M., Rerkyen, P., Phairat, B., Schaecher, K.E., Fukuda, M.M., Pichyangkul, S. J. Periodont. Res. (2009) [Pubmed]
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