Background: Gingival hyperplasia could occur after the administration of cyclosporine A. Up to 90% of the patients submitted to immunosuppressant drugs have been reported to suffer from this side effect. The role of fibroblasts in gingival hyperplasia has been widely discussed by literature, showing contrasting results. In order to demonstrate the effect of cyclosporine A on the extracellular matrix component of fibroblasts, we investigated the gene expression profile of human fibroblasts after cyclosporine A administration. Materials and methods: Primary gingival fibroblasts were stimulated with 1000 ng/mL cyclosporine A solution for 16 h. Gene expression levels of 57 genes belonging to the “Extracellular Matrix and Adhesion Molecules” pathway were analyzed using real-time PCR in treated cells, compared to untreated cells used as control. Results: Expression levels of different genes were significantly de-regulated. The gene CDH1
, which codes for the cell adhesion protein E-cadherin, showed up-regulation. Almost all the extracellular matrix metalloproteases showed down-regulation (MMP8
). The administration of cyclosporine A was followed by down-regulation of other genes: COL7A1
, the transmembrane receptors ITGB2
, and the basement membrane constituents LAMA2
. Conclusion: Data collected demonstrate that cyclosporine inhibits the secretion of matrix proteases, contributing to the accumulation of extracellular matrix components in the gingival connective tissue, causing gingival overgrowth. Patients affected by gingival overgrowth caused by cyclosporine A need to be further investigated in order to determine the role of this drug on fibroblasts.
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