Treg and TH17 link to immune response in individuals with peri-implantitis: a preliminary report

Abstract

Background and objectives

Treg and TH17 cells influence the inflammatory process in periodontal diseases and could also play in a similar pattern, an essential role in immune-inflammatory mechanisms involved in the destruction of the peri-implant tissues, peri-implantitis. Therefore, this study evaluated the levels of RORγT and FOXP3 gene expression in subjects with peri-implantitis and healthy peri-implant tissues.

Methods

A total of 35 subjects with implant-supported restorations in both diseased and healthy clinical conditions (n = 15 healthy; n = 20 peri-implantitis) were included in this study. Peri-implantitis was defined as probing depth > 5 mm, bleeding on probing and/or suppuration, and peri-implant bone loss >4 mm. Peri-implant tissue biopsies were collected for analysis of the mRNA, RORγT, and FOXP3 expression levels. The samples were submitted to total RNA extraction, treatment with DNAse, and cDNA synthesis. Subsequently, real-time PCR reaction was performed to evaluate the levels of RORγT and FOXP3 gene expression to the reference gene. These were analyzed by the non-parametric Mann-Whitney method with a level of significance of 5%.

Results

Higher gene expression levels of the transcription factors RORγT and FOXP3 were detected in the tissues affected by peri-implantitis when compared with healthy tissues (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

The present study demonstrated the possible existence of a hybrid TH17-Treg profile, based on the gene expression of transcription factors inducing differentiation of these cells. Further studies must be designed to gain a better understanding of the immunological mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of peri-implantitis.

Clinical relevance

The levels of RORγT and FOXP3 transcription factors that were linked to cells with the FOXP3+RORγT+ phenotype could be used as a predictor of peri-implantitis progression.

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Funding

Prof. Shibli receive grants from CNPq # 301527/2006-7, #504392/2010-7, and 311368/2019-0 and FAPESP # 2008/07154-5.

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Correspondence to Jamil Awad Shibli.

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The experimental protocol was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Guarulhos (IRB #0007.0.132.000-10). All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Giro, G., Tebar, A., Franco, L. et al. Treg and TH17 link to immune response in individuals with peri-implantitis: a preliminary report. Clin Oral Invest (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00784-020-03435-w

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Keywords

  • Peri-implantitis
  • Bone loss
  • Immunology
  • Dental implants
  • Treg and TH17 cells