Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Comparative analysis of antigen-presenting cells in gingival tissues in healthy and periodontitis patients
  1. Ana Pejcic1,
  2. Zlatibor Andjelkovic2,
  3. Dragan Marjanovic3,
  4. Ivan Minic1,
  5. Vladimir Matvijenko4,
  6. Zoran Arsic4,
  7. Radovan Jovanovic5,
  8. Ljiljana Subaric5
  1. 1Periodontology and Oral Medicine, University of Niš, Medical Faculty, Nis, Serbia
  2. 2Institute of Histology and Embriology, University of Pristina, Medical Faculty, Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbia
  3. 3Periodontology and Oral Medicine, University of Pristina, Dental Clinic, Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbia
  4. 4Restorative Dentistry, University of Pristina, Dental Clinic, Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbia
  5. 5Dental Clinic, University of Pristina, Medical Faculty, Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ana Pejcic, Periodontology and oral medicine, University of Nis, Medical faculty, Nis, Serbia; dranapejcic{at}


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.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • 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.