Impaired polymorphonuclear neutrophils in the oral cavity of edentulous individuals

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Oral health is characterized by functional oral polymorphonuclear neutrophils (oPMNs). Edentulism might be associated with a loss of oPMNs because these cells enter the oral cavity primarily through the gingival crevices. The main aim of this study was to investigate the numbers of oPMNs in rinse samples obtained from edentulous (n = 21) and dentate (n = 20) subjects. A second study aim was to investigate possible differences between oPMNs and peripheral blood polymorphonuclear neutrophils (cPMNs). Apoptosis/necrosis and cell-activation markers (CD11b, CD63 and CD66b) were analyzed using flow cytometry. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was determined either without stimulation (constitutive) or in response to 10 μM phorbol myristate acetate or Fusobacterium nucleatum. The edentulous subjects presented with lower oPMN counts and higher percentages of apoptotic/necrotic oPMNs compared with dentate subjects. Furthermore, oPMNs from edentulous donors expressed low levels of all three activation markers and low constitutive ROS. In contrast, oPMNs from dentate subjects expressed high levels of all three activation markers and a higher level of constitutive ROS than cPMNs. When challenged, oPMNs from edentulous subjects showed no upregulation in ROS production, whereas oPMNs from dentate subjects retained their ability to respond to stimulation. The functional characteristics of cPMNs were comparable between edentulous and dentate subjects. This study demonstrates that despite having functional cPMNs, edentulous subjects have low oPMN numbers that are functionally impaired.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-378
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Oral Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


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