Background and aims. Gingival hyperplasia, a relatively common side effect of antiepileptic and anticonvulsant
drugs, occurs in 30‒50% of patients taking phenytoin and 25‒81% of those taking cyclosporine. Gingival hyperplasia due
to lack of balance between extracellular synthesis and degradation is associated with increased production of IL-1B, IL-6
and IL-8 by gingival fibroblasts. Tissue level of IL-17 increases in inflammatory conditions. Since the role of IL-17 and
patient age in gingival hyperplasia is still unclear, this study aimed to compare the level of IL-17 produced by gingival fibroblasts
in children and adults.
Materials and methods. This study was conducted on biopsy specimens obtained from the healthy gingiva of 4 adults,
35‒42 years of age, undergoing crown lengthening surgery and 4 children, aged 4‒11 years, undergoing impacted tooth
surgery. Biopsy specimens were cultured in a mixture of Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s Medium (DMEM), penicillin, 1%
streptomycin and 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) at 37°C and 5% CO2. The specimens were monitored for contamination
and cell proliferation and the medium was refreshed if necessary.
Results. The baseline levels of IL-17 produced by gingival fibroblasts isolated from children and adults were not significantly
different from those after the addition of cyclosporine or phenytoin. The two groups of children and adults were not
significantly different in terms of the production of IL-17 by gingival fibroblasts. The two groups of children and adults were
not significantly different in terms of the production of IL-17 at baseline or after exposure to cyclosporine or phenytoin.
Conclusion. IL-17 inflammatory cytokine does not play a role in gingival hyperplasia in children and adults.