“Scientists are discovering that a small protein named developmental endothelial locus 1 (Del-1) can arrest the processes that lead to runaway oral inflammation and periodontitis, particularly in older individuals.

In a study published March 25 in Nature Immunology, George Hajishengallis, DDS, PhD, and his team — in collaboration with a group led by Triantafyllos Chavakis, MD, PhD — showed that administration of Del-1 in the oral cavity reduces the production of interleukin 17 (IL-17) and also inhibits periodontal bone loss. IL-17 is an important element of the inflammatory cascade.

“We think Del-1 is a very promising molecule for a new therapy in periodontitis and other inflammatory diseases,” said Dr. Hajishengallis, who is professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine.”

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