Non-bacterial protein expression in periodontal pockets by proteome analysis


  • Conflict of interest and sources of funding statement

    This study was funded by the authors' own institutions. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


Carlo Bertoldi

Department of Surgery, Medicine

Dentistry and Morphological Sciences with Transplant Surgery

Oncology and Regenerative Medicine Relevance

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via del Pozzo 71, 41124, Modena





To compare the proteomic profile of inter-proximal pocket tissues with inter-proximal healthy tissues in the same subject to reveal proteins associated with periodontal disease in sites where periodontopathogenic bacteria were not detectable.


Twenty-five healthy patients, with moderate-to-advanced chronic periodontitis and presenting with at least one intra-bony defect next to a healthy inter-proximal site were enrolled. The periodontal defects were treated with osseous resective surgery, and the flap design included both the periodontal pockets and the neighbouring inter-proximal healthy sites. Pocket-associated and healthy tissues were harvested for proteomic analyses.


Fifteen proteins were differently expressed between pathological and healthy tissues. In particular, annexin A2, actin cytoplasmic 1, carbonic anhydrase 1 & 2; Ig kappa chain C region (two spots) and flavinreductase were overexpressed, whereas 14-3-3 protein sigma and zeta/delta, heat-shock protein beta -1 (two spots), triosephosphateisomerase, peroxiredoxin-1, fatty acid-binding protein-epidermal, and galectin-7 were underexpressed in pathological tissue.


The unbalanced functional network of proteins involved could hinder adequate tissue response to pathogenic noxa. The study of periodontal pocket tissue proteomic profile would be crucial to better understand the pathogenesis of and the therapeutic strategies for periodontitis.