Background: This in vitro study investigated the influence of nicotine, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and a combination of both agents on cytokine expression from human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs). Methods: HGFs were exposed for 48 hours to 250 μg/ml nicotine, 1 μg/ml Porphyromonas gingivalis LPS, or both. The expression of multiple cytokines was detected in the HGFs conditioned media using cytokine protein arrays. Results: The untreated HGFs expressed several cytokines, which included relatively high levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). They also expressed low levels of growth-regulated oncogene (GRO), IL-3, and IL-10. Nicotine had the greatest effect on the expression of GRO-α, IL-7, IL-10, and IL-15 compared to the untreated control. P. gingivalis LPS had the greatest effect on the expression of GRO-α; IL-7; IL-10; and RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed, and presumably secreted) compared to the untreated control. The combination of both agents had the biggest impact on the expression of GRO-α, IL-7, IL-10, IL-15, RANTES, and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) compared to the untreated control. Conclusion: HGFs exposed to nicotine, P. gingivalis LPS, or a combination of both agents increased the expression of multiple cytokines.
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