Interleukin-1 alpha, interleukin-8 and interferon-alpha levels in gingival crevicular fluid

Ambika Mathur, Bryan S Michalowicz, Monica Castillo, Dorothy Aeppli

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99 Scopus citations


Cytokines play an important role in the pathology associated with chronic inflammatory diseases. We measured the total amounts [picograms (pg)] and concentrations (pg/μl) of interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1α), interleukin-8 (IL-8) and interferon-alpha (IFN-α) in 20 s gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) samples obtained from 2 diseased and 2 healthy sites in 20 subjects with periodontitis, and from 2 healthy sites in 20 subjects without disease. Both the mean amount and concentration of IL-1α were significantly higher (p<0.001) in diseased sites compared to healthy sites in subjects with disease. The results for IL-8 and IFN-aα differed depending on the method of reporting. Whereas the amount of IL-8 was significantly higher (p<0.01) in diseased sites, the mean concentration of IL-8 was lower compared to healthy sites. The mean amount of IFN-α was similar in health and disease; however, the concentration of IFN-alpha was significantly lower in diseased sites (p<0.001) corresponding to the significant increase in crevicular fluid volume (p<0.001). There were no significant differences in the amount or concentrations of the 3 cytokines between healthy sites from subjects with disease and healthy sites from healthy controls. The total amounts of both IFN-α and IL-8 were correlated between healthy and diseased sites in subjects. These data suggest that, while the disease status of a site is the major determinant of the levels of these cytokines locally, subjects with high levels of IL-8 and IFN-α in healthy sites also tend to have high levels of these cytokines in diseased sites. Finally, both the concentrations and total amounts of IL-8 and IFN-α were significantly correlated in diseased sites, suggesting that levels of these two cytokines rise or fall in tandem. The combination of decreased IL-8 and decreased IFN-α concentrations at diseased sites may reflect the reduced anti-bacterial host defense activity at that site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-495
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1996


  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-8
  • Periodontitis, GCF


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