A relationship between proteinase activity and clinical parameters in the treatment of periodontal disease

J. M. Mailhot, J. Potempa, S. H. Stein, J. Travis, J. D. Sterrett, Philip Jerry Hanes, C. M. Russell

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18 Scopus citations


The objective of this research was to determine the effectiveness of a biochemical assay which measures proteolytic enzyme activity in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) and to relate this enzyme activity to clinical parameters traditionally utilized for periodontitis detection. A clinical trial was conducted on 8 periodontitis subjects with ≥4 sites exhibiting a loss of attachment of ≥5 mm and probing depths of ≥5 mm with bleeding on probing. On each subject, a plaque index was performed, followed by GCF sampling at those sites which exhibited a loss of attachment and probing depths. GCF was analyzed for activity against benzoyl-L-arginine-p-nitroanilide in the presence (BAPNA w/gly-gly) and the absence (BAPNA w/o gly-gly) of glycyl-glycine and against MeOSuc-Ala-Ala-Pro-Val-pNA and Suc-Ala-Ala-Pro-Phe-pNA for neutrophil serine proteinases activity (elastase and cathepsin G, respectively). Subsequently, a gingival index was performed, attachment levels and probing depths were recorded using a constant force probe with bleeding on probing being noted. A split-mouth design was employed and half mouths were randomly assigned to the following treatment groups: group A, half of the mouth received scaling/root planing and polishing: group B, half of the mouth received no treatment (control). Subjects were treated, then instructed on toothbrushing and interdental cleaning. After 4 weeks, subjects returned to receive a plaque index; GCF sampling, gingival index, attachment levels, probing depths and bleeding on probing as described above. Using a paired Student t-test, the findings suggest that BAPNA w/gly-gly was significantly less in treatment sites than in non-treated control sites (p=0.05). No such correlation was found for other activities, including neutrophil serine proteinases which were shown to occur in GCF in free, proteolytically active forms. In addition, significant treatment effects were detected for probing depths (p= 0.03) which reduced by 1.3 mm and attachment levels (p=0.02) which gained 0.7 mm. The reduction of P. gingivalis from treated periodontitis sites as detected by a significant decrease in BAPNA w/ gly-gly may prove to be a valuable marker for periodontal disease activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-584
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


  • Cathepsin G
  • Elastase
  • Gingival crevicular fluid
  • P. gingivalis
  • Periodontal disease
  • Proteinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics

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    Mailhot, J. M., Potempa, J., Stein, S. H., Travis, J., Sterrett, J. D., Hanes, P. J., & Russell, C. M. (1998). A relationship between proteinase activity and clinical parameters in the treatment of periodontal disease. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 25(7), 578-584. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-051X.1998.tb02491.x