Periodontal diseases are characterized by an inflammatory exudate termed gingival fluid (GF). We have examined selected complement components for cleavage products in GF from patients with periodontitis and the less common disease, periodontosis. We hope to establish an objective criterion for diagnosis as well as to provide information on the mechanisms involved in producing periodontal inflammation.

GF samples (2 µl) were collected from 18 patients diagnosed as having severe periodontitis and blood samples were collected simultaneously. Serum and GF were stored at -76°C until assayed. Protein concentrations were measured by single radial immunodiffusion for nine plasma proteins, including C3, C4, and Factor B. An antiserum to C3 specific for the B determinant was utilized. It was found that GF contained only 20% of the a-C3 (B determinant) reactive material found in serum, while all other proteins measured were at levels 70 to 80% of that in serum.

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