Phenytoin and gingival mucosa: A molecular investigation

Valentina Candotto, Furio Pezzetti, Alessandro Baj, Giada Beltramini, Dorina Lauritano, Michele Di Girolamo, Francesca Cura

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Several distinct classes of drugs, such as anticonvulsants, immunosuppressants, and calcium channel blockers, caused gingival overgrowth. One of the main drugs associated with the gingival overgrowth is the anti-epileptic such as phenytoin, which affects gingival tissues by altering extracellular matrix metabolism. In our study, we evaluate the effect of phenytoin, a drug whose active substance is phenytoin, on gingival fibroblasts of healthy volunteers. Gene expression of 29 genes was investigated in gingival fibroblasts' cell culture treated with phenytoin compared with untreated cells. Among the studied genes, only 13 genes (CXCL5, CXCL10, CCR1, CCR3, CCR5, CCR6, IL-1A, IL-1B, IL-5, IL-7, IL-6R, BMP-2, and TNFSF-10) were statistically significant. All but one gene resulted downregulated after 24 h of treatment with phenytoin. BPM2 was the only, although weakly, up-expressed gene. Probably, we have not highlighted overexpression of the other inflammatory molecules because the study was performed on healthy people. Many studies show that phenytoin induces the overexpression of these cytokines but, probably, in our study, the drug does not have the same effect because we used gingival fibroblasts of healthy people.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2058738419828259
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • anti-epileptic drug (AED)
  • gene expression
  • gingival hyperplasia
  • phenytoin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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