Autoimmunity to collagen in adult periodontal disease

Academic Article


  • Although it has been documented that exogenous antigens of microbial origin are involved in the induction of the local inflammatory responses in human adult periodontitis (AP), endogeneous antigens may contribute to the chronicity of this common disease. In this study, we used the enzyme‐linked immunospot (ELISPOT) test to enumerate antibody‐secreting cells to human collagen Types 1‐VI by cells isolated from the gingivae and peripheral blood of AP patients. Analyses of dissociated cells from gingivae of 39 AP patients revealed the presence of high numbers of cells that secrete antibodies to Type I collagen, and to a lesser extent, Type III. Although the majority of such cells produced specific antibodies of the IgG class, IgA‐ and IgM‐ anti‐collagen ‐secreting cells were also detected. When compared to the total antibody‐producing cells, the numbers of cells forming specific antibodies to collagen Type I were surprisingly high. In contrast, anti‐collagen antibody‐producing cells were rarely detected in the peripheral blood of patients with adult periodontal disease and only low levels of anti‐collagen antibodies were present in the serum. The finding of local production of anti‐collagen antibodies in AP suggests that autoimmunity may contribute to the pathogenesis of this common disease. Copyright © 1988, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hirsch HZ; Tarkowski A; Miller EJ; Gay S; Koopman WJ; Mestecky J
  • Start Page

  • 456
  • End Page

  • 459
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 9-10