Cytokine Networks Regulating Inflammation and Immune Defense in the Oral Cavity

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The host/pathogen interaction in infectious oral diseases is characterized by complex and precisely orchestrated host response mechanisms aimed to protect the host against the microbial challenge with minimal collateral damage to host cells and tissues. Central to the host response in this battlefront is the expression of cytokines. The resulting cytokine networks, which ultimately regulate the host response at multiple levels, thereby determine the clinical outcome of the disease and explain most of its defining features from a mechanistic viewpoint. This review intends to present a structured view of the intricate cytokine networks that regulate inflammation and immune defense in the oral cavity, guiding the reader throughout the evolving paradigms that describe how the simultaneous action of multiple cytokines shapes the nature of the immune response to oral infection.


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Current Oral Health Reports

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