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It has been proposed that individual genetic predisposition may contribute to persistent apical periodontitis. Cytokines are associated with levels of inflammation and are involved in caries, pulpal, and periapical tissue destruction. We hypothesized that polymorphisms in cytokine genes may contribute to an individual’s increased susceptibility to apical tissue destruction in response to deep carious lesions.


Subjects with deep carious lesions, with or without periapical lesions (≥ 3 mm) were recruited at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Texas at Houston. Genomic DNA samples of 316 patients were sorted into 2 groups: 136 cases with deep carious lesions and periapical lesions (cases), and 180 cases with deep carious lesions but no periapical lesions (controls). Nine single nucleotide polymorphisms in IL1B, IL6, TNF, RANK, RANKL and OPG genes were selected for genotyping. Genotypes were generated by endpoint analysis using Taqman chemistry in a real-time polymerase chain reaction instrument. Allele and genotype frequencies were compared among cases and controls using PLINK program. Ninety-three human periapical granulomas and 24 healthy periodontal ligament tissues collected post-operatively were used for mRNA expression analyses of IL1B.


A SNP in IL1B (rs1143643) showed allelic (P=0.02) and genotypic (P=0.004) association with cases of deep caries and periapical lesions. We also observed altered transmission of IL1B marker haplotypes (P = 0.02) in these individuals. IL1B was highly expressed in granulomas (P<0.001).


Variations in IL1B may be associated with periapical lesion formation in individuals with untreated deep carious lesions. Future studies could help predict host susceptibility to developing periapical lesions.

Publication Title

Journal of endodontics

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Podiatry Commons



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