The contribution of interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor to periodontal tissue destruction

Dana T. Graves, D. Cochran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

720 Scopus citations


Interleukin (IL)-1 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) represent proinflammatory cytokines that stimulate a number of events which occur during periodontal disease. These include the induction of adhesion molecules and other mediators that facilitate and amplify the inflammatory response, the stimulation of matrix metalloproteinase, and bone resorption. The activity of these cytokines coincides with the critical events that occur during periodontal disease, namely, loss of attachment and bone resorption. The use of antagonists to IL-1 and TNF in experimental periodontitis have demonstrated a cause-and-effect relationship between the activity of these cytokines and the spread of an inflammatory front to deeper areas in the connective tissue, loss of connective tissue attachment, osteoclast formation, and loss of alveolar bone. In addition, the loss of flbroblasts that occurs during infection with periodontal pathogens is, in part, mediated by TNF. Thus, much of the damage that occurs during periodontal tissue destruction can be attributed to IL-1 and TNF activity. This destruction may very well represent an overreaction of the host response to periodontal pathogens caused by excessive production of IL-1 and TNF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-401
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Cytokines
  • Fibroblasts, periodontal
  • Inflammatoy response
  • Interleukin-1
  • Periodontal diseases/etiology
  • Periodontitis/etiology
  • Tumor necrosis factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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