, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 45-52
Date: 05 Mar 2014

Soluble CD40 ligand: a novel biomarker in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease

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Periodontitis involves a complex interplay of micro-organisms and host immune response via numerous mediator molecules playing strategic roles in its pathogenesis. Soluble CD40L (sCD40L) is one such co-stimulatory molecule which is essential for T-helper cell activation and is a well-known risk indicator of cardiovascular diseases. The levels of this marker in crevicular fluid of patients of chronic periodontitis have been explored in the present study for the first time along with an analysis of its association with levels in serum in otherwise systemically healthy patients.


Sixty patients 20 healthy and 40 of chronic periodontitis (18 moderate and 22 severe) participated in the study. Patients of the diseased group underwent non-surgical periodontal therapy. Clinical evaluation and collection of gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) and serum samples was done at baseline, and 6 weeks after phase I periodontal therapy. sCD40L levels were quantified in the fluids using ELISA.


Levels of sCD40L in GCF were significantly higher in the diseased group (p ≤ 0.001) and strongly correlated not only with increasing severity of disease but also with levels in serum. In post-treatment, the levels decreased significantly in both the biological fluids (p ≤ 0.001).


The present study brings to light the role of sCD40L as a novel marker in mediating periodontal destruction and disease progression. Evaluation of local treatment outcomes seems promising in minimizing these effects.

Clinical relevance

Positive association of its local levels with those in serum further implicates the possibility of widespread systemic effects of this infection.