Periodontal disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus: Is the HMGB1-RAGE axis the missing link?
ABSTRACT Periodontitis is a major chronic inflammatory disease associated with increased production of numerous proinflammatory cytokines, which leads to the destruction of the periodontal tissue and ultimately loss of teeth. Periodontitis has powerful and multiple influences on the occurrence and severity of systemic conditions and diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease. Meanwhile, diabetes is associated with increased prevalence, severity and progression of periodontal disease. There is also abundant evidence showing that diabetes plays important etiological roles in periodontitis. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) was recently identified as a lethal mediator of severe sepsis and comprises a group of intracellular proteins that function as inflammatory cytokines when released into the extracellular milieu. From a clinical perspective, extracellular HMGB1 can cause multiple organ failure and contribute to the pathogenesis of sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We recently reported that HMGB1 expression in periodontal tissues was elevated in patients with severe periodontitis. In addition, the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE), a receptor for HMGB1, was strongly expressed in gingival tissues obtained from patients with type 2 diabetes and periodontitis compared with systemically healthy patients with chronic periodontitis patients. From these data, we hypothesize that HMGB1 might play a role in the development of diabetes-associated periodontitis.