Histochemical detection and comparison of apoptotic cells in the gingival epithelium using hematoxylin and eosin and methyl green-pyronin: A pilot study

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Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Report
Length: 2,493 words
Lexile Measure: 1630L

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Byline: Aarati. Nayak, Anita. Raikar, Vijaylaxmi. Kotrashetti, Ramakant. Nayak, Sumedha. Shree, Soumya. Kambali

Background: Apoptosis plays a critical role in the regulation of inflammation and host immune response. It helps in tissue homeostasis and a disturbance in this is often associated with disease. The use of histochemical stains like hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) and methyl green-pyronin (MGP) can provide a simple and cost-effective method for the detection of apoptotic cells. Aim: Study intended to analyze the expression of apoptosis in the gingival epithelium of healthy subjects and in patients with chronic periodontitis, using H and E and MGP. It is also proposed to correlate the apoptotic index (AI) of healthy individuals and those with chronic periodontitis. Materials and Methods: Twenty gingival biopsies were harvested from which ten samples were of healthy subjects and ten subjects who suffered from chronic periodontitis. Apoptotic cells were analyzed using MGP and H and E under light microscopy. Results: Apoptotic cells were identified at x100 magnification and AI was calculated. Apoptotic cells were easily distinguishable in MGP stained sections when compared to those stained using H and E. Moreover, apoptotic cell count was higher in chronic periodontitis. Statistical analyses were done by Tukey's multiple post hoc procedure. Conclusion: The study reveals that MGP staining can be used in a routine basic laboratory set up as one of the cost-effective methods for the detection of apoptotic cells.


Periodontitis is a chronic disease characterized by the interaction between mixed anaerobic Gram-negative bacteria and the host inflammatory response which results in tissue destruction and tooth loss.[sup][1],[2]

Balancing a host-bacterium relationship is imperative for the preservation of periodontal health.[sup][3] This equilibrium is possible through programmed cell death in concert with cell division, which generates the correct number and types of cells and maintains the balance between various cell population in organisms.[sup][4]

Cell death is an integral part of the tissue dynamics which are mediated through two processes apoptosis and necrosis. Apoptosis is an important mechanism that is involved in maintaining the normal homeostasis not only in the evolution of life forms but also in development.

Programmed cell death also known as “apoptosis” (to fall away from) was coined by Reed to describe the unique morphology associated with a cell death that differs from necrosis.[sup][5] It was Flemming (1885) who first described the morphological description of apoptosis. In the 1970s and 1980s, studies revealed that apoptosis not only had specific morphological characteristics but is also tightly regulated process with specific biochemical characteristics.[sup][6] Apoptosis is considered as a genetically regulated process activated by a variety of stress stimuli, including physical and mechanical ones.

Apoptosis plays an important role in the pathogenesis of the periodontal disease. This form of cell death is important in both the inflammatory cells as well as cells of the periodontium.[sup][7] The expression of apoptosis in connective tissue is studied at length,[sup][8] but fewer studies are done in gingival epithelium which advocates research in this zone.[sup][9],[10]

Commonly used techniques for detection of apoptotic cells are...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A457290557