Purpose: Periodontitis is associated with caspase and proinflammatory mediators, such as caspase-1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). The aim of this study was to evaluate the salivary levels of caspase-1 and TNF-α and determine their accuracy in differentiating periodontitis patients from individuals with a healthy periodontium.
Keywords: caspase-1, periodontitis, saliva, TNF-α
Materials and Methods: This case-control study enrolled 90 subjects, aged 30 to 55, attending the Department of Periodontics at Baghdad’s outpatient clinic. Patients were initially screened to evaluate their eligibility for recruitment. After applying inclusion/exclusion criteria, subjects with a healthy periodontium were included in group 1 (controls), while subjects with periodontitis were included in group 2 (patients). The salivary levels of caspase-1 and TNF-α in participants’ unstimulated saliva were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Then the periodontal status was determined using the following indices: full-mouth plaque, full-mouth bleeding on probing, probing pocket depth, clinical attachment level, and gingival recession.
Results: TNF-α and caspase-1 salivary levels were higher in periodontitis patients than in healthy controls and were positively correlated with all clinical parameters. A positive significant correlation between TNF-α and caspase-1 salivary levels was noticed. For differentiating periodontal health and periodontitis, the area under the curve (AUC) values of TNF-α and caspase-1 were 0.978 and 0.998, while the proposed cut-off points were 128.163 pg/ml and 1.626 ng/ml, respectively.
Conclusion: The present findings supported a previous discovery that periodontitis patients have significantly higher levels of salivary TNF-α. In addition, there was a positive correlation between the salivary levels of TNF-α and caspase-1. Furthermore, caspase-1 and TNF-α showed high sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of periodontitis, as well as distinguishing periodontitis from periodontal health.