THE ADAPTIVE OR PATHOLOGIC RESPONSES of epithelial cells to inflammation are poorly characterized. The purpose of this study was to determine if epithelial cells cultured from clinically healthy and inflamed human gingival tissues express differences in proliferation rate and viability. Briefly, the inflammation status of individual donor sites from 101 patients was visually assessed at the time of periodontal surgery and categorized as either non-to-slightly inflamed, moderately inflamed, or severely inflamed. Discarded gingival tissues were then processed to obtain primary cell cultures, for which proliferation rates were determined by calculating the ratio of mean population doublings to the number of days required for cultures to become confluent. In general, the cells in the minimally inflamed group exhibited characteristics different than cells in the moderately and severely inflamed groups. Specifically, the cells obtained from clinical sites which exhibited no-to-slight inflammation had a significantly higher mean proliferation rate than cells in either the moderate inflammation group or the severe inflammation group. Based on trypan blue exclusion, the cells obtained from clinical sites which exhibited no-to-slight inflammation also were more viable than cells obtained from sites with moderate inflammation or severe inflammation. Microscopic evaluation showed morphological changes associated with increased inflammation. Cell cycle analysis by fluorescent-activated cell sorting (FACS) revealed a directly proportional relationship between the degree of inflammation and apoptosis, and a strong inversely proportional trend between the degree of inflammation and the numbers of cells undergoing mitosis. Taken together, these data suggest that epithelial cell proliferation and viability are inversely associated with the degree of gingival inflammation, once a putative "adaptive threshold" is exceeded. Elucidation of the underlying mechanisms will likely lead to improvements in clinical diagnosis and treatment.
- Cell proliferation
- Cell viability
- Epithelial cell
- Primary cell culture, cell cycle analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas