Pathophysiological relationships between periodontitis and systemic disease: Recent concepts involving serum lipids

Anthony M. Iacopino, Christopher W. Cutler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Periodentitis has been traditionally regarded as a chronic inflammatory oral infection. However, recent studies indicate that this oral disease may have profound effects on systemic health. The search for cellular/molecular mechanisms linking periodontitis to changes in systemic health and systemic physiology has resulted in the evolution of a new area of lipid research establishing linkages between existing multidisciplinary biomedical literature, recent observations concerning the effects of serum lipids on immune cell phenotype/function, and a heightened interest in systemic responses to chronic localized infections. There appears to be more than a casual relationship between serum lipid levels and systemic health (particularly cardiovascular disease, diabetes, tissue repair capacity, and immune cell function), susceptibility to periodontitis, and serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In terms of the potential relationship between periodontitis and systemic disease, it is possible that periodontitis-induced changes in immune cell function cause metabolic dysregulation of lipid metabolism through mechanisms involving pro-inflammatory cytokines. Sustained elevations of serum lipids and/or pro-inflammatory cytokines may have a serious negative impact on systemic health. The purpose of this paper is to present the background, supporting data, and hypotheses related to this concept. As active participants in this emerging and exciting area of investigation, we hope to stimulate interest and awareness among biomedical scientists and practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1375-1384
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cells immune
  • Cytokines
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Periodontitis
  • Systemic health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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