Background: The aim of this work was to improve the assessment of the
periodontal disease status through measurements of extracellular matrix
metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissular inhibitors (TIMPs) in the gingival
crevicular fluid from patients diagnosed with chronic periodontitis.
Methods: Gingival crevicular fluid samples from patients (n ¼ 13) were taken
from 60 sites initially, and from 51 and 41 sites, respectively, 3 and 6 months
after scaling and root planing. Gingival crevicular fluid samples were also taken
from healthy subjects (n ¼ 11, 24 sites). The presence of MMP-9 and MMP-8
was assessed by zymography and immunowestern blotting, respectively. The
actual MMP activity (gelatinase and collagenase) was measured using the fluorogenic substrate assay. TIMP-1 and -2 levels were measured by immunodot
Results: The fluorogenic substrate assay determinations showed higher MMP
activity in sites with probing depth ‡ 4 mm, with significant reduction posttreatment. Gelatinase activity followed by zymography consisted mainly of MMP9. A different pattern of MMP-8 in control and patient sites was found. Controls
only showed species of a partially active form (69 kDa), whereas patient sites
showed a high frequency of the active form (56 kDa), and in some cases the latent
form (85 kDa) was also observed. The active form reduced its frequency in sites
with probing depth ‡ 4 mm. TIMP-1 and -2 levels in patients were significantly
lower than in controls, and after treatment the recovery of TIMP-1 level similar to
control was observed.
Conclusion: Significant correlations between the severity of the periodontal
disease and the actual MMP activity, the active form of MMP-8 and the low level
of both TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 were found.