Evaluation of DNA methylation of inflammatory genes following treatment of chronic periodontitis: A pilot case–control study

Farah Asa'ad, Valentina Bollati, Giorgio Pagni, Rogerio M. Castilho, Eleonora Rossi, Francesca Pomingi, Letizia Tarantini, Dario Consonni, William V. Giannobile, Giulio Rasperini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the influence of periodontal therapy on DNA methylation in patients with chronic periodontitis as compared to healthy individuals. Material and Methods: Twenty patients were enrolled into two groups: (i) 10 diagnosed as clinically healthy; and (ii) 10 diagnosed with chronic periodontitis. Clinical measures were recorded and gingival biopsies were harvested at baseline (both patient groups) and at 2 and 8 weeks post-baseline for diseased individuals. Molecular DNA methylation analysis was performed by pyrosequencing for the putative inflammation-associated genes LINE-1, COX-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α. Random-intercept linear regression models were applied to evaluate methylation levels across groups at baseline and the methylation changes over time in the diseased and normal tissues. Results: Periodontal therapy did not influence gene expression methylation of TNF-α, IFN-γ and LINE-1 levels at normal and periodontitis sites over time. However, it significantly reduced COX-2 methylation levels comparable to healthy individuals at both 2 and 8 weeks post-treatment (p <.05). Conclusions: Periodontal therapy resets the DNA methylation status of inflammatory gene for COX-2 in patients with periodontal disease. DNA methylation levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ and LINE-1 were sustained in periodontitis sites despite therapy. Future studies should consider an expanded panel of inflammatory genes over time. (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02835898).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-914
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2017


  • biomarkers
  • DNA methylation
  • epigenetics
  • inflammatory genes
  • periodontal disease pathogenesis
  • periodontal diseases/therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of DNA methylation of inflammatory genes following treatment of chronic periodontitis: A pilot case–control study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this