Aims Microbial flora of dental plaque trigger innate and adaptive immune responses. The function of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) is to bridge the innate and adaptive immune systems. The human immune system contains three main types of APCs: dendritic cells (DC) (Langerhans cells (LCs) and interstitial DCs, IDCs), macrophages and B lymphocytes. In this study, the distribution and density of all APCs in healthy and inflamed human gingival tissue were comparatively analysed.
Methods Research was conducted on gingival biopsy specimens obtained from 55 patients and classified in three groups: healthy gingiva (control group, n=10), moderate periodontal disease (PD) (n=21) and severe PD (n=24). For APCs’ identification antibodies raised against CD1a (for LCs), S100 protein (for iDCs), CD68 (for macrophages) and CD20 (for B lymphocytes) were used.
Results Increased density of IDCs, macrophages and B lymphocytes in lamina propria and reduced density of LCs in the gingival epithelium were found in patients with periodontitis. Simultaneously, it was noticed an increased concentration of macrophages and B cells in the gingival epithelium in patients with PD. No statistically significant difference in the distribution and density of APC was found among patients with moderate and advanced periodontitis.
Conclusions It was hypothesised that in the periodontitis the role of antigen presentation was largely taken from LCs by the DCs, macrophages and B cells. These APCs are thought to have less protective and tolerogenic potential than LCs and this is a significant reason for alveolar bone destruction in periodontitis.
- Antigen Presentation
- Cell Count
- Pathology, Oral
Data availability statement
No data are available.
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Handling editor Tahir S Pillay.
Contributors All authors worked equally in all segments of the creation of this manuscript. The guarantor, Ana Pejcic, accepts full responsibility for the work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.