Increased expression of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 and 2 in inflamed human gingiva

S S Chen, K Wang, Jian Zhao, W C Wu, Y F Wu, L Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Periodontitis is an infectious disease in which the host immune and inflammatory responses play essential roles in resistance to bacterial infection, as well as the induction of tissue destruction if the immune response is dysregulated. The triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREMs) modulates inflammatory and innate immune signaling. TREM-1 is considered as an amplifier of the immune response, while TREM-2 is a negative regulator that has yet to be explored in periodontal disease before. We hypothesized that TREMs participated in the innate immune responses during the pathogenesis of periodontitis. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate TREM-1 and TREM-2 expression in the gingival tissues from patients with chronic periodontitis and healthy subjects as well as their correlation with clinical periodontal parameters. This study is the first to identify TREM-2 in periodontal tissue, as well as the protein expression changes of TREM-1 and TREM-2 in periodontal tissues.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Gingival tissue sections were collected from 31 healthy subjects and 53 patients with chronic periodontitis. Immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction were employed to evaluate the protein and mRNA expression of these receptors in gingival tissues. The recorded clinical parameters were probing depth, clinical attachment loss, plaque index and bleeding on probing.

RESULTS: In addition to myeloid cells in gingival connective tissues, TREM-1 and TREM-2 were also found expressed in gingival epithelial cells. In particular, TREM-1 was detected in almost all gingival epithelium from both healthy and inflamed biopsies. The expression levels of TREM-1 and TREM-2 were significantly increased in the periodontitis group compared to the healthy group. Increased levels of these receptors are to be positively correlated with site-specific periodontal parameters.

CONCLUSION: The increased expression of TREM-1 and TREM-2 levels in periodontitis may confer diagnostic and potential therapeutic targets as well as indicating their association with the clinical severity of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-521
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number3
Early online date14 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Periodontitis/metabolism
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Gingiva/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Index
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Immunologic/metabolism
  • Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells-1/metabolism
  • Young Adult


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