Following toll-like receptor (TLR) engagement, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) can stimulate the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines thus activating the innate immune response. The production of inflammatory cytokines results, in part, from the activation of kinase-induced signalling cascades and transcriptional factors. Of the four distinct classes of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) described in mammals, p38, c-Jun N-terminal activated kinases (JNK1-3) and extracellular activated kinases (ERK1,2) are the best studied. Previous data have established that p38 MAPK signalling is required for inflammation and bone loss in periodontal disease pre-clinical animal models.
MATERIALS & METHODS:
In this study, we obtained healthy and diseased periodontal tissues along with clinical parameters and microbiological parameters. Excised fixed tissues were immunostained with total and phospho-specific antibodies against p38, JNK and ERK kinases.
Intensity scoring from immunostained tissues was correlated with clinical periodontal parameters. Rank correlations with clinical indices were statistically significantly positive (p-value < 0.05) for total p38 (correlations ranging 0.49-0.68), phospho-p38 (range 0.44-0.56), and total ERK (range 0.52-0.59) levels, and correlations with JNK levels also supported association (range 0.42-0.59). Phospho-JNK and phospho-ERK showed no significant positive correlation with clinical parameters of disease.
These data strongly implicate p38 MAPK as a major MAPK involved in human periodontal inflammation and severity.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.