Il-8 as a potential therapeutic target for periodontitis and its inhibition by caffeic acid phenethyl ester in vitro

Yung Kai Huang, Kuo Feng Tseng, Ping Hsuan Tsai, Jie Sian Wang, Chang Yu Lee, Ming Yi Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Salivary levels of interleukin-8 (IL-8) are elevated in patients with periodontitis. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) improves the periodontal status in subjects. However, whether CAPE can reduce IL-8 expression is unclear. We collected saliva to determine proinflammatory cytokine levels and used subgingival calculus and surrounding tissues from patients with periodontitis for oral microbiota analysis via 16s ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. THP-1 cells were stimulated with sterile-filtered saliva from patients, and target gene/protein expression was assessed. IL-8 mRNA expression was analyzed in saliva-stimulated THP-1 cells treated with CAPE and the heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) inhibitor tin-protoporphyrin (SnPP). In 72 symptomatic individuals, IL-8 was correlated with periodontal inflammation (bleeding on probing, r = 0.45; p < 0.001) and disease severity (bleeding on probing, r = 0.45; p < 0.001) but not with the four oral microbiota species tested. Reduced salivary IL-8 secretion was correlated with effective periodontitis treatment (r = 0.37, p = 0.0013). In THP-1 cells, saliva treatment induced high IL-8 expression and IKK2 and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) phosphorylation. However, the IKK inhibitor BMS-345541, NF-κB inhibitor BAY 11-7082, and CAPE attenuated saliva-induced IL-8 expression. CAPE induced HO-1 expression and inhibited IKK2, IκBα, and NF-κB phosphorylation. Blocking HO-1 decreased the anti-inflammatory activity of CAPE. The targeted suppression of IL-8 production using CAPE reduces inflammation and periodontitis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3641
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2021


  • Caffeic acid phenethyl ester
  • Interleukin-8
  • Oral microbiota
  • Periodontitis
  • THP-1 cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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