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Treponema denticola associates with increased levels of MMP-8 and MMP-9 in gingival crevicular fluid


Correspondence: Maha Yakob, Department of Dental Medicine, Division of Periodontology, Karolinska Institutet, Box 4064, 141 04 Huddinge, Sweden. Tel: +46 8 524 88230, Fax: +46 8 711 83 43, E-mail:



The aim was to assess the association between the presence of site-specific subgingival micro-organisms and the levels of matrix metalloproteinases-8 and matrix metalloproteinases-9 (MMP-8 and MMP-9) in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF).

Materials and Methods

The patient group consisted of 56 subjects with periodontitis and the control group of 43 subjects without periodontitis. GCF samples from four test sites for each subject were collected. Polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the presence of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Tannerella forsythia, and Treponema denticola. MMP-8 concentrations were analyzed by a time-resolved immunofluorometric assay, and MMP-9 levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Student's unpaired t-test, chi-square test, and Fisher's exact P-value were calculated.


The presence of T. denticola in the test sites was significantly higher in the patient group than in the control group. The presence of T. forsythia and T. denticola was associated with increased levels of MMP-8 in the test sites. Respectively, site-specific presence of T. denticola was associated with an increase in MMP-9 levels in three of the four test sites.


The presence of subgingival micro-organisms in GCF, particularly T. denticola, appeared to induce a host response with an increased release of MMP-8 and MMP-9 in the test sites.