Objectives: Human beta-defensins (hBDs) play an important role in the susceptibility to periodontitis. This study aimed to evaluate the levels of hBD-2 and hBD-3 in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) of individuals with and without periodontitis. Methods: Twenty periodontally healthy individuals (H) and 20 with periodontitis (P) were recruited. GCF samples were collected from healthy sites (Hh; n=20) from H individuals; and from healthy sites (Ph; n=20), sites with gingival inflammation but no attachment loss (Pg; n=20) and sites with inflammation and attachment loss (Pp; n=20) from P individuals. Levels of hBDs (pg/mL) were determined using ELISA. Comparisons between individuals and among sites were performed through hierarchical linear modelling. Results: GCF levels [median(Q3–Q1)] of hBD-2 were: Hh=4.80 (0.00–30.69); Ph=33.29 (28.04–38.25); Pg=27.56 (23.14–35.50); and Pp=26.20 (23.20–42.54); and of hBD-3 were: Hh=0.00 (0.00–0.00); Ph=978.44 (760.48–1268.12); Pg=938.19 (806.75– 1266.38); and Pp=613.63 (325.50–854.68). Periodontitis at the individual level was associated with higher levels of hBD-2 (p=0.023) and hBD-3 (p<0.001). No influence of site phenotype was observed on hBDs levels. Conclusion: Individuals with periodontitis presented higher levels of hBD-2 and hBD-3 in the GCF. These levels seemed to be influenced by periodontitis at the individual level but not by periodontal site.
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