Screw-shaped titanium implants are routinely used as substitutes for lost teeth. Peri-implantitis, defined as an inflammatory, bacterial-driven destruction of the implant-supporting apparatus, may occasionally occur. This site-specific infection yields many features in common with chronic periodontitis, but the relationship to this pathology has been controversial until now. Biogenic polyamines spermine, spermidine and putrescine have been found to increase in some phlogistic processes of periodontium, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, with different patterns. Putrescine increased in the course of periodontitis, while the higher polyamines were involved in the gingivitis. Objective: To assess the involvement of polyamines produced by the granular tissue around failed implants in the pathogenesis of peri-implantitis. Method: Samples of granular tissue from four patients suffering from peri-implantitis and samples of gingival tissue from 10 healthy subjects who had undergone surgical extraction of impacted third molars were selected. After homogenization in perchloric acid 5%, surnatants were collected and tested for polyamine assay by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Results: Results show a very marked increase in putrescine concentrations as compared to healthy gingival tissue, while spermine and spermidine content did not significantly change with respect to the basal levels of healthy controls. Conclusion: The high putrescine levels we observed in the peri-implantitis-affected sites account for a direct role of putrescine in this chronic inflammation and emphasize the increased putrescine contents as a further new feature in common between periodontitis and peri-implantitis. So, it appears that putrescine is prevalently involved in the chronic inflammatory processes of periodontium characterized by the overlapping of cell destruction and tissue repair.
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