T lymphocytes play a central role during the pathogenesis of periodontitis, and the imbalance between the pathogenic T-helper type 17 (Th17) and protective T-regulatory (Treg) lymphocytes determines the tooth-supporting alveolar bone resorption. Interleukin (IL)-35 is a novel anti-inflammatory cytokine with therapeutic properties in diseases whose pathogenesis is associated with the Th17/Treg imbalance; however, its role during periodontitis has not been established yet. This study aimed to elucidate whether IL-35 inhibits the alveolar bone resorption during periodontitis by modulating the Th17/Treg imbalance.
Mice with ligature-induced periodontitis were treated with locally or systemically administrated IL-35. As controls, periodontitis-affected mice without IL-35 treatment and non-ligated mice were used. Alveolar bone resorption was measured by micro-computed tomography and scanning electron microscopy. The Th17/Treg-pattern of the immune response was analyzed by qPCR, ELISA, and flow cytometry.
IL-35 inhibited alveolar bone resorption in periodontitis mice. Besides, IL-35 induced less detection of Th17 lymphocytes and production of Th17-related cytokines, together with higher detection of Treg lymphocytes and production of Treg-related cytokines in periodontitis-affected tissues.
IL-35 is beneficial in the regulation of periodontitis; particularly, IL-35 inhibited alveolar bone resorption and this inhibition was closely associated with modulation of the periodontal Th17/Treg imbalance.

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