MC Meikle, SJ Atkinson, RV Ward, G Murphy, JJ Reynolds
J Periodontal Res
We previously suggested that periodontal pathogens might mediate connective tissue degradation in periodontal diseases through the ability of antigens from their cell walls to stimulate cytokine production by circulating mononuclear cells. Such cytokines would then induce metalloproteinase (MP) synthesis by resident gingival cells and thus initiate matrix degradation. In the present investigation human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) were grown on [14C]-labelled type I collagen films and stimulated with either tumor necrosis factor (TNF) or interleukin-1 (IL-1) for 48 h. Collagenolysis occurred in a dose-dependent manner; the optimal dose for human rTNF alpha was 100 ng/ml and for rIL-1 alpha and rIL-1 beta, 1 ng/ml. Collagen degradation was accompanied by increased synthesis and release of the MPs collagenase, gelatinase and stromelysin, and there was a reduction in free TIMP (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases): collagenase and stromelysin were detected in both active and latent forms. Cytokine-stimulated collagenolysis was abolished by the addition of exogenous human rTIMP (5 units/ml). We also measured collagenase and TIMP by ELISAs which recognize all forms of collagenase (latent, active or complexed) and TIMP (free or complexed). These showed that while collagenase activity (0.6-1.2 microgram/ml) correlated with lysis, total TIMP levels remained unchanged at approximately 0.2 microgram/ml. These results demonstrate important roles for MPs and TIMP in regulating type I collagen degradation by HGFs, and support the hypothesis that connective tissue destruction during inflammatory diseases may be initiated, at least in part, by TNF and IL-1.