Background: It has been demonstrated that genetic variation accounts for approximately half of the variance in periodontitis. The reported association of polymorphisms in the osteoprotegerin (OPG) gene with osteoporosis suggests that the OPG gene may also influence the genetic risk for periodontitis.
Subjects and methods: We investigated the distribution of OPG gene polymorphisms in 49 patients with aggressive (n = 14) or chronic (n = 35) periodontitis and 49 control subjects without periodontitis, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)–restriction fragment length polymorphism and PCR–single strand conformation polymorphism followed by direct sequencing.
Results: A total of seven known polymorphisms and one new mutation, G373A, were identified. The T950 and G1181 alleles were more common in patients with periodontitis (P = 0.028 and P = 0.047, respectively) than in control subjects. Especially, G1181 allele was associated with patients with aggressive periodontitis.
Conclusion: The TG haplotype of T950C and G1181C polymorphisms in the OPG gene may be useful genetic markers for the prediction of periodontitis. Further studies in a larger population are required to determine whether these alleles directly contribute to periodontitis susceptibility.