The effect of age on prostaglandin-synthesizing enzymes in the development of gingivitis.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify the expression of cyclooxygenase-1, cyclooxygenase-2, cyclooxygenase-3, and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 in young and elderly subjects.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Periodontally healthy subjects were divided into young (18-30 years, n = 7) and elderly (46-77 years, n = 7). A gingival biopsy was taken at baseline. After experimental gingivitis, clinical examination was repeated and a second biopsy was taken. The expression of cyclooxygenase-1, cyclooxygenase-2, cyclooxygenase-3, and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 was analyzed by means of immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: In both healthy age groups, cyclooxygenase-1 and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 were expressed in epithelial cells, endothelial cells and fibroblast-like connective tissue cells. Cyclooxygenase-1 was found in Langerhans' cells of the epithelium. Cyclooxygenase-2 expression was observed in cells exhibiting the morphology of epithelial mitosis cells, and the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in periodontally healthy elderly subjects was significantly lower (p < or = 0.05). Following experimental gingivitis, cyclooxygenase-1 and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 expression did not change. However, the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 was significantly increased in both age groups (p < or = 0.05). Cyclooxygenase-3 was not detected in any group investigated.
CONCLUSION: Cyclooxygenase-1 and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 were expressed constitutively in gingival tissue, and expression was unaffected by age or inflammation states. In contrast, the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 was weaker in elderly subjects. In the course of experimental gingivitis, cyclooxygenase-2 was induced in both age groups.