Complement component 3 and its activation split-products in saliva associate with periodontitis

Christian Damgaard*, Laura Massarenti, Anne Katrine Danielsen, Jonas H Graversen, Palle Holmstrup, Claus H Nielsen, Yaseelan Palarasah

*Corresponding author for this work
2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Periodontitis (PD) is classified by Grades A through C according to the risk of further progression, PD Grade C (PD-C) being the most severe progressing form. It is a matter of controversy, whether the disease activity observed in PD-C is due to impaired immune reactivity toward bacteria embedded in biofilms or a hyper-reactive immune response causing tissue damage as a bystander phenomenon. Little is known about the role of complement in this respect.

METHODS: Plasma and unstimulated saliva samples were collected from patients with PD-B (n = 34) or -C (n = 27) and healthy controls (HCs) (n = 28). Salivary and plasma levels of total C3, C3c, and C3dg were quantified using sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

RESULTS: Salivary levels of total C3 and C3dg were elevated in PD-B and PD-C patients compared to HCs (both P < 0.05), while the levels of C3c were elevated in PD-C compared to HCs. Plasma levels of C3c were higher in PD-B patients than in HCs (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: PD-B and PD-C patients show increased complement activation compared to HCs, but no difference was found between the two disease grades. PD-B, but not PD-C, is associated with increased systemic complement activation as assessed by C3c in plasma.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Periodontology
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1294-1301
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022


  • complement component 3
  • immunology
  • inflammation and innate immunity
  • pathogenesis
  • periodontitis
  • saliva
  • Periodontitis
  • Humans
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods
  • Complement C3c
  • Saliva/chemistry
  • Complement C3/analysis


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