The term periodontal disease encompasses a wide variety of chronic inflammatory conditions of the periodontium, including gingivitis and periodontitis. The gingival disease is an infectious process, which occurs due to the progression of untreated gingivitis. It is characterized by a destructive inflammatory process that affects the supporting tissues of the teeth, which causes the loss of the dental organs. As a result of inflammation, a wide range of cytokines and inflammatory mediators together contribute to tissue degradation and bone resorption. However, some molecules that have not been studied in the inflammatory process of this disease, such as the macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) which is considered an important cytokine of the innate immune system; it is expressed constitutively in immune and nonimmune cells, and it is released immediately against bacterial stimuli, hypoxia, and proliferative signals. MIF has been described in some chronic degenerative, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. Previous studies have described that in murine models of periodontitis, MIF promotes the activation and differentiation of osteoclasts that could position this cytokine in the immunopathogenesis of gingival disease in humans.
Part of the book: Gingival Disease