Objective: 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.
Results: 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.
Conclusions: 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.