The role of the cathelicidin LL-37 in periodontal disease

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


Abstract Background Fibroblasts respond to bacterial stimulation by producing an array of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. As such fibroblasts play a significant role as regulators of the host response in periodontal disease. LL-37, an antimicrobial peptide, found in saliva and GCF, inhibits LPS-induced cytokine signalling in macrophages, suggesting a role in host defence in periodontal disease. This study investigated the interaction between LL-37 and gingival fibroblasts – both its direct regulation of fibroblast activity and also its effect on fibroblast response to LPS activation. Methods Human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) were incubated for 24 hours in the presence of either P. gingivalis LPS (10µg/ml) or E. coli LPS (0.01µg/ml) along with LL-37 (0-50µg/ml). IL-6 and IL-8 production by HGFs in the conditioned medium was determined by ELISA. DNA microarray analysis was performed on cell populations incubated for 6 hr in the presence or absence of the peptide. Results At low concentrations (≤ 5 µg/ml) LL-37 significantly inhibited LPS-induced cytokine production by HGFs. At higher concentrations LL37 induced IL-8 production independent of LPS. Microarray analysis revealed that LL-37 upregulated a significant number of cytokines and chemokines by > 5 fold. The stimulatory effect on IL-8 mRNA expression was confirmed by Q-PCR. Conclusion LL-37 appears to have pleiotrophic effects in innate immunity. Its ability, at low concentrations, to reduce bacterial LPS-induced cytokine production in gingival fibroblasts suggests a potential therapeutic role in the management of periodontal disease.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventBritish Society of Periodontology: Autumn Conference - London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Sep 200925 Sep 2009


ConferenceBritish Society of Periodontology
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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