MicroRNAs and their target genes in gingival tissues

C. Stoecklin-Wasmer, P. Guarnieri, R. Celenti, R. T. Demmer, M. Kebschull, P. N. Papapanou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


To gain insights into the in vivo function of miRNAs in the context of periodontitis, we examined the occurrence of miRNAs in healthy and diseased gingival tissues and validated their in silico-predicted targets through mRNA profiling using whole-genome microarrays in the same specimens. Eighty-six individuals with periodontitis contributed 198 gingival papillae: 158 'diseased' (bleeding-on-probing, PD > 4 mm, and AL ≥ 3 mm) and 40 'healthy' (no bleeding, PD ≥ 4 mm, and AL ≤ 2 mm). Expression of 1,205 miRNAs was assessed by microarrays, followed by selected confirmation by quantitative RT-PCR. Predicted miRNA targets were identified and tested for enrichment by Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA). Enriched gene sets were grouped in functional categories by DAVID and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. One hundred fifty-nine miRNAs were significantly differentially expressed between healthy and diseased gingiva. Four miRNAs (hsa-miR-451, hsa-miR-223, hsa-miR-486-5p, hsa-miR-3917) were significantly overexpressed, and 7 (hsa-miR-1246, hsa-miR-1260, hsa-miR-141, hsa-miR-1260b, hsa-miR-203, hsa-miR-210, hsa-miR-205*) were underexpressed by > 2-fold in diseased vs. healthy gingiva. GSEA and additional filtering identified 60 enriched miRNA gene sets with target genes involved in immune/inflammatory responses and tissue homeostasis. This is the first study that concurrently examined miRNA and mRNA expression in gingival tissues and will inform mechanistic experimentation to dissect the role of miRNAs in periodontal tissue homeostasis and pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-940
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the NIH/NIDCR ( DE015649 and DE021820 ), the NCATS-NCRR/NIH (CTSA UL1RR024156 ), and Colgate-Palmolive, NJ, USA. Dr. Kebschull was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG KFO208 TP6 & TP9), the German Society for Periodontology (DGP), and the DGZMK.


  • gene expression
  • human
  • inflammation
  • pathogenesis
  • periodontitis
  • transcriptome


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