Inflammation Research

, Volume 63, Issue 12, pp 1001–1012 | Cite as

Clinical associations between IL-17 family cytokines and periodontitis and potential differential roles for IL-17A and IL-17E in periodontal immunity

  • Raja Azman
  • David F. Lappin
  • Alexandrea MacPherson
  • Marcello Riggio
  • Douglas Robertson
  • Penny Hodge
  • Gordon Ramage
  • Shauna Culshaw
  • Philip M. Preshaw
  • John Taylor
  • Christopher Nile
Original Research Paper



IL-17A is implicated in periodontitis pathogenesis. The roles of IL-17B–IL-17F and IL-17A/F are unknown. This study aimed to determine clinical associations between IL-17 family cytokines and periodontitis and to investigate the biological roles of IL-17A and IL-17E using in vitro model systems.

Materials and methods

Samples from 97 patients with periodontitis and 77 healthy volunteers were used in the study. Serum, saliva and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) levels of IL-17 family cytokines were measured by ELISA. Oral keratinocytes were stimulated with a P. gingivalis biofilm, or IL-17A, in the presence and absence of IL-17E and the expression of IL-8 and CXCL5 were investigated by ELISA and real-time-PCR. NF-κB phosphorylation in similar experiments was also measured using a cell-based ELISA.


Serum, saliva and GCF IL-17A levels were higher in periodontitis patients and correlated positively with clinical parameters of attachment loss, pocket depth and bleeding on probing. Serum IL-17E levels were lower in periodontitis patients and the serum IL-17A:IL-17E ratio correlated positively with clinical parameters. In vitro, IL-17E inhibited Porphyromonas gingivalis and IL-17A induced expression of chemokines by reducing phosphorylation of the NF-κB p65 subunit.


Serum IL-17A:IL-17E may be a marker of disease severity. IL-17E may have opposing roles to IL-17A in periodontitis pathogenesis. IL-17E can negatively regulate IL-17A and periodontal pathogen induced expression of chemokines by oral keratinocytes.


IL-17 IL-25 IL-17E IL-17A Periodontitis IL-8 



We are very grateful to the patients and volunteers who agreed to participate in the study. The project was supported by Funding from Tenovus Scotland (Registered charity number SC009675) and The Oral and Dental Research Trust (Registered charity number 800234).


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raja Azman
    • 1
  • David F. Lappin
    • 1
  • Alexandrea MacPherson
    • 1
  • Marcello Riggio
    • 1
  • Douglas Robertson
    • 1
  • Penny Hodge
    • 1
  • Gordon Ramage
    • 1
  • Shauna Culshaw
    • 1
  • Philip M. Preshaw
    • 2
  • John Taylor
    • 2
  • Christopher Nile
    • 1
  1. 1.Infection and Immunity Research Group, Immunology, Level 9, Dental School, School of Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Centre for Oral Health Research and Institute of Cellular MedicineFramlington Place, Newcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneEngland, UK

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