Gingival epithelial cells are part of the first line of host defense against infection. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) serve important immune and nonimmune functions. We investigated how interferon gamma (INF-gamma) and interleukin 13 (IL-13) are involved in the TLR4 ligand-induced regulation of interleukin-8 (IL-8) effects on gingival epithelial cells. We used immunohistochemistry to localize TLR4 in ten healthy and ten periodontitis tissue specimens. Gingival epithelial cells then were primed with Th1 cytokine (INF-gamma) or Th2 cytokine (IL-13) before stimulation with Escherichia coli-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was performed to detect the level of IL-8 secretion in cell culture supernatants. Although both healthy and periodontitis gingival tissue samples expressed TLR4, the periodontitis samples showed more intense expression on gingival epithelial cells. Gingival epithelial cell cultures were primed with either INF-gamma or IL-13 before stimulation with TLR4 ligand. Supernatants from co-stimulated epithelial cells exhibited IL-8 production in opposite directions, i.e., as one stimulates the release, the other reduces the release. INF-gamma significantly increased TLR4 function, whereas IL-13 significantly decreased TLR4 function, i.e., production of IL-8. Pathogen associated molecular pattern-LPS, shared by many different periodonto-pathogenic bacteria, activates the gingival epithelial cells in a TLR-dependent manner. Diminished or increased TLR function in gingival epithelial cells under the influence of different Th cell types may protect or be harmful due to the altered TLR signaling.