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1.  Direct Recognition of Fusobacterium nucleatum by the NK Cell Natural Cytotoxicity Receptor NKp46 Aggravates Periodontal Disease 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(3):e1002601.
Periodontitis is a common human chronic inflammatory disease that results in the destruction of the tooth attachment apparatus and tooth loss. Although infections with periopathogenic bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) and Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) are essential for inducing periodontitis, the nature and magnitude of the disease is determined by the host's immune response. Here, we investigate the role played by the NK killer receptor NKp46 (NCR1 in mice), in the pathogenesis of periodontitis. Using an oral infection periodontitis model we demonstrate that following F. nucleatum infection no alveolar bone loss is observed in mice deficient for NCR1 expression, whereas around 20% bone loss is observed in wild type mice and in mice infected with P. gingivalis. By using subcutaneous chambers inoculated with F. nucleatum we demonstrate that immune cells, including NK cells, rapidly accumulate in the chambers and that this leads to a fast and transient, NCR1-dependant TNF-α secretion. We further show that both the mouse NCR1 and the human NKp46 bind directly to F. nucleatum and we demonstrate that this binding is sensitive to heat, to proteinase K and to pronase treatments. Finally, we show in vitro that the interaction of NK cells with F. nucleatum leads to an NCR1-dependent secretion of TNF-α. Thus, the present study provides the first evidence that NCR1 and NKp46 directly recognize a periodontal pathogen and that this interaction influences the outcome of F. nucleatum-mediated periodontitis.
Author Summary
Periodontal disease is a common bacterial-induced inflammatory process in which F. nucleatum and P. gingivalis infections lead to the destruction of the teeth supporting attachment apparatus. Previous reports demonstrated that immune cells aggravate the severity of the disease. However, whether NK cells in general and NKp46 (a major killer receptor expressed by NK cells) in particular, play a protective or destructive role in this disease is unknown. Using mice deficient in NCR1 (the mouse orthlogue of NKp46), we demonstrate that oral infection of mice with F. nucleatum, but not with P. gingivalis results in an NCR1-dependent alveolar bone loss. In addition, we show that F. nucleatum is recognized by NCR1 and NKp46 directly and that this recognition leads to the secretion of TNF-α, a central cytokine critically involved in the pathogenesis of periodontal destruction. Collectively, we show that NCR1 and NKp46 play a critical role in the pathogenesis of F. nucleatum-mediated periodontitis.
PMCID: PMC3310798  PMID: 22457623
2.  Bone Resorption Caused by Three Periodontal Pathogens In Vivo in Mice Is Mediated in Part by Prostaglandin 
Infection and Immunity  1998;66(9):4158-4162.
Gingival inflammation, bacterial infection, alveolar bone destruction, and subsequent tooth loss are characteristic features of periodontal disease, but the precise mechanisms of bone loss are poorly understood. Most animal models of the disease require injury to gingival tissues or teeth, and the effects of microorganisms are thus complicated by host responses to tissue destruction. To determine whether three putative periodontal pathogens, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Campylobacter rectus, and Fusobacterium nucleatum, could cause localized bone resorption in vivo in the absence of tissue injury, we injected live or heat-killed preparations of these microorganisms into the subcutaneous tissues overlying the calvaria of normal mice once daily for 6 days and then examined the bones histologically. We found that all three microorganisms (both live and heat killed) stimulated bone resorption and that the strain of F. nucleatum used appeared to be the strongest inducer of osteoclast activity. Treatment of the mice concomitantly with indomethacin reduced but did not completely inhibit bone resorption by these microorganisms, suggesting that their effects were mediated, in part, by arachidonic acid metabolites (e.g., prostaglandins). Our findings indicate that these potential pathogens can stimulate bone resorption locally when placed beside a bone surface in vivo in the absence of prior tissue injury and support a role for them in the pathogenesis of bone loss around teeth in periodontitis.
PMCID: PMC108500  PMID: 9712762
3.  Local and Systemic Responses in Matrix Metalloproteinase 8-Deficient Mice during Porphyromonas gingivalis-Induced Periodontitis▿  
Infection and Immunity  2008;77(2):850-859.
Periodontitis is a bacterium-induced chronic inflammation that destroys tissues that attach teeth to jaw bone. Pathologically excessive matrix metalloproteinase 8 (MMP-8) is among the key players in periodontal destruction by initiating type I collagen degradation. We studied MMP-8 in Porphyromonas gingivalis-induced periodontitis by using MMP-8-deficient (MMP8−/−) and wild-type (WT) mice. Alveolar bone loss, inflammatory mediator expression, serum immunoglobulin, and lipoprotein responses were investigated to clarify the role of MMP-8 in periodontitis and systemic inflammatory responses. P. gingivalis infection induced accelerated site-specific alveolar bone loss in both MMP8−/− and WT mice relative to uninfected mice. The most extensive bone degradation took place in the P. gingivalis-infected MMP8−/− group. Surprisingly, MMP-8 significantly attenuated (P < 0.05) P. gingivalis-induced site-specific alveolar bone loss. Increased alveolar bone loss in P. gingivalis-infected MMP8−/− and WT mice was associated with increase in gingival neutrophil elastase production. Serum lipoprotein analysis demonstrated changes in the distribution of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles; unlike the WT mice, the MMP8−/− mice underwent a shift toward a smaller HDL/VLDL particle sizes. P. gingivalis infection increased the HDL/VLDL particle size in the MMP8−/− mice, which is an indicator of lipoprotein responses during systemic inflammation. Serum total lipopolysaccharide activity and the immunoglobulin G-class antibody level in response to P. gingivalis were significantly elevated in both infected mice groups. Thus, MMP-8 appears to act in a protective manner inhibiting the development of bacterium-induced periodontal tissue destruction, possibly through the processing anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Bacterium-induced periodontitis, especially in MMP8−/− mice, is associated with systemic inflammatory and lipoprotein changes that are likely involved in early atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC2632031  PMID: 19029300
4.  Macrophage-Specific TLR2 Signaling Mediates Pathogen-Induced TNF-Dependent Inflammatory Oral Bone Loss 
Porphyromonas gingivalis is a primary etiological agent of chronic periodontal disease, an infection-driven chronic inflammatory disease that leads to the resorption of tooth-supporting alveolar bone. We previously reported that TLR2 is required for P. gingivalis–induced alveolar bone loss in vivo, and our in vitro work implicated TNF as a key downstream mediator. In this study, we show that TNF-deficient (Tnf−/−) mice are resistant to alveolar bone loss following oral infection with P. gingivalis, and thus establish a central role for TNF in experimental periodontal disease. Using bone marrow–derived macrophages (BMDM) from wild-type and gene-specific knockout mice, we demonstrate that the initial inflammatory response to P. gingivalis in naive macrophages is MyD88 dependent and requires cooperative signaling of TLR2 and TLR4. The ability of P. gingivalis to activate cells via TLR2 or TLR4 was confirmed in TLR2- or TLR4-transformed human embryonic kidney cells. Additional studies using bacterial mutants demonstrated a role for fimbriae in the modulation of TLR-mediated activation of NF-κB. Whereas both TLR2 and TLR4 contributed to TNF production in naive macrophages, P. gingivalis preferentially exploited TLR2 in endotoxin-tolerant BMDM to trigger excessive TNF production. We found that TNF induced surface TLR2 expression and augmented TLR-induced cytokine production in P. gingivalis–stimulated BMDM, establishing a previously unidentified TNF-dependent feedback loop. Adoptive transfer of TLR2-expressing macrophages to TLR2-deficient mice restored the ability of P. gingivalis to induce alveolar bone loss in vivo. Collectively, our results identify a TLR2- and TNF-dependent macrophage-specific mechanism underlying pathogen-induced inflammatory bone loss in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3549226  PMID: 23264656
5.  Oral P. gingivalis infection alters the vascular reactivity in healthy and spontaneously atherosclerotic mice 
Considering that recent studies have demonstrated endothelial dysfunction in subjects with periodontitis and that there is no information about vascular function in coexistence of periodontitis and atherosclerosis, we assessed the impact of oral inoculation with the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis on vascular reactivity in healthy and hypercholesterolemic apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE) mice. In vitro preparations of mesenteric arteriolar bed were used to determine the vascular responses to acetylcholine, sodium nitroprusside and phenylephrine (PE).
Alveolar bone resorption, an evidence of periodontitis, was assessed and confirmed in all infected mice. Acetylcholine- and sodium nitroprusside-induced vasorelaxations were similar among all groups. Non-infected ApoE mice were hyperreactive to PE when compared to non-infected healthy mice. P gingivalis infection significantly enhanced the vasoconstriction to PE in both healthy and spontaneous atherosclerotic mice, when compared to their respective controls.
This study demonstrates that oral P gingivalis affects the alpha-adrenoceptor-mediated vascular responsiveness in both healthy and spontaneous atherosclerotic mice, reinforcing the association between periodontitis and cardiovascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC3118371  PMID: 21586133
6.  TLR2 signaling and Th2 responses drive Tannerella forsythia-induced periodontal bone loss1 
Periodontal disease (PD) is a chronic inflammation of the tooth supporting soft tissue and alveolar bone due to infection by a select group of gram negative microbes, and leads to tooth loss if untreated. Since mice deficient in CD4+ cells are resistant to infection-induced alveolar bone loss, Th cells have been implicated in bone destructive processes during PD. However, the extent to which different Th-cell subtypes play roles in pathogenesis or host protection remains to be defined, and is likely to vary depending on the dominant microorganism involved. By far the best studied periodontal microbe in PD is Porphyromonas gingivalis. Even though the gram negative anaerobe Tannerella forsythia is also a vital contributor to periodontal bone loss, almost nothing is known about immune responses to this organism. Previous studies from our laboratory have revealed that T. forsythia induces periodontal bone loss in mice, and that this bone loss depends on the bacterially-expressed BspA protein. In this study, we show that T. forsythia activates murine APCs primarily through TLR2-dependent signaling via BspA. Furthermore, T. forsythia infection causes a pronounced Th2 bias, evidenced by T cell expression of IL-5 but not IFN-γ or IL-17 in draining LN. Consistently, deficiencies in TLR2 or STAT6 result in resistance to T. forsythia-induced alveolar bone loss. Thus, TLR2 signaling and Th2 cells play pathogenic roles in T. forsythia-induced alveolar bone destruction.
PMCID: PMC3119786  PMID: 21632710
7.  Genotype is an important determinant factor of host susceptibility to periodontitis in the Collaborative Cross and inbred mouse populations 
BMC Genetics  2013;14:68.
Periodontal infection (Periodontitis) is a chronic inflammatory disease, which results in the breakdown of the supporting tissues of the teeth. Previous epidemiological studies have suggested that resistance to chronic periodontitis is controlled to some extent by genetic factors of the host. The aim of this study was to determine the phenotypic response of inbred and Collaborative Cross (CC) mouse populations to periodontal bacterial challenge, using an experimental periodontitis model. In this model, mice are co-infected with Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum, bacterial strains associated with human periodontal disease. Six weeks following the infection, the maxillary jaws were harvested and analyzed for alveolar bone loss relative to uninfected controls, using computerized microtomography (microCT). Initially, four commercial inbred mouse strains were examined to calibrate the procedure and test for gender effects. Subsequently, we applied the same protocol to 23 lines (at inbreeding generations 10–18) from the newly developed mouse genetic reference population, the Collaborative Cross (CC) to determine heritability and genetic variation of control bone volume prior to infection (CBV, naïve bone volume around the teeth of uninfected mice), and residual bone volume (RBV, bone volume after infection) and loss of bone volume (LBV, the difference between CBV and RBV) following infection.
BALB/CJ mice were highly susceptible (P<0.05) whereas DBA/2J, C57BL/6J and A/J mice were resistant. Six lines of the tested CC population were susceptible, whereas the remaining lines were resistant to alveolar bone loss. Gender effects on bone volume were tested across the four inbred and 23 CC lines, and found not to be significant. Based on ANOVA analyses, broad-sense heritabilities were statistically significant and equal to 0.4 for CBV and 0.2 for LBV.
The moderate heritability values indicate that the variation in host susceptibility to the disease is controlled to an appreciable extent by genetic factors. These results strongly support the possibility of using the Collaborative Cross, as well as developing dedicated F2 (resistant x susceptible inbred strains) resource populations, for future dissection of genetic factors in periodontitis.
PMCID: PMC3751202  PMID: 23937452
Periodontal infection; Experimental periodontitis; microCT; Collaborative cross; Genes; Heritability
8.  Genetic Control of Susceptibility to Porphyromonas gingivalis-Induced Alveolar Bone Loss in Mice 
Infection and Immunity  2000;68(10):5864-5868.
Periodontal disease affects a large percentage of the human population. Resorption of the alveolar bone of the jaw is a pivotal sequela of periodontal disease, because this bone is the attachment site for the periodontal ligaments that anchor the teeth. Using a murine model in which alveolar bone loss is induced by oral infection with Porphyromonas gingivalis, a gram-negative bacterium associated with human adult periodontal disease, we provide evidence suggesting that susceptibility to such bone loss is a genetically determined trait. AKR/J, DBA/2J, and BALB/cByJ or BALB/cJ mice were highly susceptible, while A/J, A/HeJ, 129/J, SJL/J, and C57BL/6J mice were much more resistant. When susceptible BALB/cJ and BALB/cByJ mice were crossed to resistant strains, two patterns were observed. (BALBc/ByJ × C57BL/6J)F1 offspring were susceptible, suggesting C57BL/6J has recessive resistance alleles, while (BALB/cJ × A/J)F1 mice were all resistant, suggesting that A/J mice have dominant resistance alleles. These results suggest a tractable genetic basis for P. gingivalis-induced alveolar bone loss and open the possibility of exploiting the mouse model to identify loci important for host susceptibility and resistance to periodontal disease.
PMCID: PMC101548  PMID: 10992496
9.  Macrophage-specific TLR2 signaling mediates pathogen-induced TNF-dependent inflammatory oral bone loss# 
Porphyromonas gingivalis is a primary etiological agent of chronic periodontal disease (PD), an infection-driven chronic inflammatory disease that leads to the resorption of tooth supporting alveolar bone. We previously reported that TLR2 is required for P. gingivalis-induced alveolar bone loss in vivo and our in vitro work implicated TNF as a key downstream mediator. Here we show that TNF-deficient (Tnf−/−) mice are resistant to alveolar bone loss following oral infection with P. gingivalis, and thus establish a central role for TNF in experimental PD. Using bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) from wild-type and gene-specific knockout mice, we demonstrate that the initial inflammatory response to P. gingivalis in naïve macrophages is MyD88-dependent and requires cooperative signaling of TLR2 and TLR4. The ability of P. gingivalis to activate cells via TLR2 or TLR4 was confirmed in TLR2- or TLR4-transformed HEK cells. Additional studies using bacterial mutants demonstrated a role for fimbriae in the modulation of TLR-mediated activation of NF-κB. While both TLR2 and TLR4 contributed to TNF production in naïve macrophages, P. gingivalis preferentially exploited TLR2 in endotoxin tolerant BMDM to trigger excessive TNF production. We found that TNF induced surface TLR2 expression and augmented TLR-induced cytokine production in P. gingivalis-stimulated BMDM, establishing a previously unidentified TNF-dependent feedback loop. Adoptive transfer of TLR2-expressing macrophages to TLR2-deficient mice restored the ability of P. gingivalis to induce alveolar bone loss in vivo. Collectively, our results identify a TLR2- and TNF-dependent macrophage specific mechanism underlying pathogen-induced inflammatory bone loss in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3549226  PMID: 23264656
10.  Chronic Oral Infection with Porphyromonas gingivalis Accelerates Atheroma Formation by Shifting the Lipid Profile 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e20240.
Recent studies have suggested that periodontal disease increases the risk of atherothrombotic disease. Atherosclerosis has been characterized as a chronic inflammatory response to cholesterol deposition in the arteries. Although several studies have suggested that certain periodontopathic bacteria accelerate atherogenesis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, the mechanistic link between cholesterol accumulation and periodontal infection-induced inflammation is largely unknown.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We orally infected C57BL/6 and C57BL/6.KOR-Apoeshl (B6.Apoeshl) mice with Porphyromonas gingivalis, which is a representative periodontopathic bacterium, and evaluated atherogenesis, gene expression in the aorta and liver and systemic inflammatory and lipid profiles in the blood. Furthermore, the effect of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from P. gingivalis on cholesterol transport and the related gene expression was examined in peritoneal macrophages. Alveolar bone resorption and elevation of systemic inflammatory responses were induced in both strains. Despite early changes in the expression of key genes involved in cholesterol turnover, such as liver X receptor and ATP-binding cassette A1, serum lipid profiles did not change with short-term infection. Long-term infection was associated with a reduction in serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol but not with the development of atherosclerotic lesions in wild-type mice. In B6.Apoeshl mice, long-term infection resulted in the elevation of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), LDL and total cholesterols in addition to the reduction of HDL cholesterol. This shift in the lipid profile was concomitant with a significant increase in atherosclerotic lesions. Stimulation with P. gingivalis LPS induced the change of cholesterol transport via targeting the expression of LDL receptor-related genes and resulted in the disturbance of regulatory mechanisms of the cholesterol level in macrophages.
Periodontal infection itself does not cause atherosclerosis, but it accelerates it by inducing systemic inflammation and deteriorating lipid metabolism, particularly when underlying hyperlidemia or susceptibility to hyperlipidemia exists, and it may contribute to the development of coronary heart disease.
PMCID: PMC3098290  PMID: 21625524
11.  RNAi-Mediated Silencing of Atp6i and Atp6i Haploinsufficiency Prevents Both Bone Loss and Inflammation in a Mouse Model of Periodontal Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e58599.
Periodontal disease affects about 80% of adults in America, and is characterized by oral bacterial infection-induced gingival inflammation, oral bone resorption, and tooth loss. Periodontitis is also associated with other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Although many efforts have been made to develop effective therapies for this disease, none have been very effective and there is still an urgent need for better treatments and preventative strategies. Herein we explored for the first time the possibility that adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated RNAi knockdown could be used to treat periodontal disease with improved efficacy. For this purpose, we used AAV-mediated RNAi knockdown of Atp6i/TIRC7 gene expression to target bone resorption and gingival inflammation simultaneously. Mice were infected with the oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis W50 (P. gingivalis) in the maxillary periodontium to induce periodontitis. We found that Atp6i depletion impaired extracellular acidification and osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Furthermore, local injection of AAV-shRNA-Atp6i/TIRC7 into the periodontal tissues in vivo protected mice from P. gingivalis infection-stimulated bone resorption by >85% and decreased the T-cell number in periodontal tissues. Notably, AAV-mediated Atp6i/TIRC7 knockdown also reduced the expression of osteoclast marker genes and inflammation-induced cytokine genes. Atp6i+/− mice with haploinsufficiency were similarly protected from P. gingivalis infection-stimulated bone loss and gingival inflammation. This suggests that AAV-shRNA-Atp6i/TIRC7 therapeutic treatment may significantly improve the health of millions who suffer from P. gingivalis-mediated periodontal disease.
PMCID: PMC3618217  PMID: 23577057
12.  B Cell IgD Deletion Prevents Alveolar Bone Loss Following Murine Oral Infection 
Periodontal disease is one of the most common infectious diseases of humans. Immune responses to infection trigger loss of alveolar bone from the jaw and eventual tooth loss. We investigated the contribution of B cell IgD to alveolar bone loss by comparing the response of B cell normal BALB/cJ mice and IgD deficient BALB/c-Igh-5−/−J mice to oral infection with Porphyromonas gingivalis, a gram-negative periodontopathic bacterium from humans. P. gingivalis-infected normal mice lost bone. Specific antibody to P. gingivalis was lower and oral colonization was higher in IgD deficient mice; yet bone loss was completely absent. Infection increased the proportion of CD69+ activated B cells and CD4+ T cells in immune normal mice compared to IgD deficient mice. These data suggest that IgD is an important mediator of alveolar bone resorption, possibly through antigen-specific coactivation of B cells and CD4+ T cells.
PMCID: PMC2766505  PMID: 19859584
13.  Polymicrobial Infection with Major Periodontal Pathogens Induced Periodontal Disease and Aortic Atherosclerosis in Hyperlipidemic ApoEnull Mice 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e57178.
Periodontal disease (PD) and atherosclerosis are both polymicrobial and multifactorial and although observational studies supported the association, the causative relationship between these two diseases is not yet established. Polymicrobial infection-induced periodontal disease is postulated to accelerate atherosclerotic plaque growth by enhancing atherosclerotic risk factors of orally infected Apolipoprotein E deficient (ApoEnull) mice. At 16 weeks of infection, samples of blood, mandible, maxilla, aorta, heart, spleen, and liver were collected, analyzed for bacterial genomic DNA, immune response, inflammation, alveolar bone loss, serum inflammatory marker, atherosclerosis risk factors, and aortic atherosclerosis. PCR analysis of polymicrobial-infected (Porphyromonas gingivalis [P. gingivalis], Treponema denticola [T. denticola], and Tannerella forsythia [T. forsythia]) mice resulted in detection of bacterial genomic DNA in oral plaque samples indicating colonization of the oral cavity by all three species. Fluorescent in situ hybridization detected P. gingivalis and T. denticola within gingival tissues of infected mice and morphometric analysis showed an increase in palatal alveolar bone loss (p<0.0001) and intrabony defects suggesting development of periodontal disease in this model. Polymicrobial-infected mice also showed an increase in aortic plaque area (p<0.05) with macrophage accumulation, enhanced serum amyloid A, and increased serum cholesterol and triglycerides. A systemic infection was indicated by the detection of bacterial genomic DNA in the aorta and liver of infected mice and elevated levels of bacterial specific IgG antibodies (p<0.0001). This study was a unique effort to understand the effects of a polymicrobial infection with P. gingivalis, T. denticola and T. forsythia on periodontal disease and associated atherosclerosis in ApoEnull mice.
PMCID: PMC3581444  PMID: 23451182
14.  Blockade of RAGE suppresses periodontitis-associated bone loss in diabetic mice 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2000;105(8):1117-1124.
Diabetes is associated with increased prevalence, severity, and progression of periodontal disease. To test the hypothesis that activation of RAGE (Receptor for Advanced Glycation End products) contributes to the pathogenesis of diabetes-associated periodontitis, we treated diabetic mice, infected with the human periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis, with soluble RAGE (sRAGE). sRAGE is the extracellular domain of the receptor, which binds ligand and blocks interaction with, and activation of, cell-surface RAGE. Blockade of RAGE diminished alveolar bone loss in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, we noted decreased generation of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 in gingival tissue, as well as decreased levels of matrix metalloproteinases. Gingival AGEs were also reduced in mice treated with sRAGE, paralleling the observed suppression in alveolar bone loss. These findings link RAGE and exaggerated inflammatory responses to the pathogenesis of destructive periodontal disease in diabetes.
PMCID: PMC300834  PMID: 10772656
15.  Porphyromonas gingivalis infection-induced tissue and bone transcriptional profiles 
Molecular oral microbiology  2010;25(1):61-74.
Porphyromonas gingivalis has been associated with subgingival biofilms in adult periodontitis. However, the molecular mechanisms of its contribution to chronic gingival inflammation and loss of periodontal structural integrity remain unclear. The objectives of this investigation were to examine changes in the host transcriptional profiles during a P. gingivalis infection using a murine calvarial model of inflammation and bone resorption.
P. gingivalis FDC 381 was injected into the subcutaneous soft tissue over the calvaria of BALB/c mice for 3 days, after which the soft tissues and calvarial bones were excised. RNA was isolated from infected soft tissues and calvarial bones and analyzed for transcript profiles using Murine GeneChip® arrays to provide a molecular profile of the events that occur following infection of these tissues.
After P. gingivalis infection, 5517 and 1900 probe sets in the infected soft tissues and calvarial bone, respectively, were differentially expressed (P ≤ 0.05) and up-regulated. Biological pathways significantly impacted by P. gingivalis infection in tissues and calvarial bone included cell adhesion (immune system) molecules, Toll-like receptors, B cell receptor signaling, TGF-β cytokine family receptor signaling, and MHC class II antigen processing pathways resulting in proinflammatory, chemotactic effects, T cell stimulation, and down regulation of antiviral and T cell chemotactic effects. P. gingivalis-induced inflammation activated osteoclasts, leading to local bone resorption.
This is the first in vivo evidence that localized P. gingivalis infection differentially induces transcription of a broad array of host genes that differed between inflamed soft tissues and calvarial bone.
PMCID: PMC3001241  PMID: 20331794
P. gingivalis; gene expression; calvarial tissue; bone; microarray
16.  Inhibition of GSK3 Abolishes Bacterial-Induced Periodontal Bone Loss in Mice 
Molecular Medicine  2012;18(1):1190-1196.
The tissue destruction that characterizes periodontitis is driven by the host response to bacterial pathogens. Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) in innate cells leads to suppression of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-initiated proinflammatory cytokines under nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) p65 transcriptional control and promotion of cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding (CREB)-dependent gene activation. Therefore, we hypothesized that the cell permeable GSK3-specific inhibitor, SB216763, would protect against alveolar bone loss induced by the key periodontal pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis), in a murine model. B6129SF2/J mice either were infected orally with P. gingivalis ATCC 33277; or treated with SB216763 and infected with P. gingivalis; sham infected; or exposed to vehicle only (dimethyl sulfoxide [DMSO]); or to GSK3 inhibitor only (SB216763). Alveolar bone loss and local (neutrophil infiltration and interleukin [IL]-17) and systemic (tumor necrosis factor [TNF], IL-6, Il-1β and IL-12/IL-23 p40) inflammatory indices also were monitored. SB216763 unequivocally abrogated mean P. gingivalis–induced bone resorption, measured at 14 predetermined points on the molars of defleshed maxillae as the distance from the cementoenamel junction to the alveolar bone crest (p < 0.05). The systemic cytokine response, the local neutrophil infiltration and the IL-17 expression were suppressed (p < 0.001). These data confirm the relevance of prior in vitro phenomena and establish GSK3 as a novel, efficacious therapeutic preventing periodontal disease progression in a susceptible host. These findings also may have relevance to other chronic inflammatory diseases and the systemic sequelae associated with periodontal infections.
PMCID: PMC3510296  PMID: 22847803
Many of the traditional herbal formulations contain extracts of Piper longum and Glycyrrhiza glabra, piperine and glycyrrhetinic acid respectively, being active constituents of these two herbs. An attempt has been made to develop a simple, precise, rapid, and cost-effective high-performance thin-layer chromatographic (HPTLC) method for simultaneous estimation of these in a herbomineral formulation (Efiplus® Capsules). Precoated silica gel 60 F254 plates with toluene-ethyl acetate-glacial acetic acid 12.5:7.5:0.5, as mobile phase were used in chromatographic determinations. The plates were scanned and the compounds were quantified at their wavelengths of maximum absorption of 260 and 331 nm for glycyrrhetinic acid and piperine respectively. The respective RF, values of glycyrrhetinic acid and piperine were 0.51 and 0.55. Under these experimental conditions linearity was observed between 0.8-2.6 μg/ spot for glycyrrhetinic acid and between 10-50 ng/ spot for piperine and average recovery was 96.25% for glycyrrhetinic acid and 98.55% for piperine.
PMCID: PMC3255427  PMID: 22247845
HPTLC; glycyrrhetinic acid; piperine; herbomineral formulation
18.  Omega-3 Fatty Acid Effect on Alveolar Bone Loss in Rats 
Journal of dental research  2006;85(7):648-652.
Gingival inflammation and alveolar bone resorption are hallmarks of adult periodontitis, elicited in response to oral micro-organisms such as Porphyromonas gingivalis. We hypothesized that omega (ω)-3 fatty acids (FA) dietary supplementation would modulate inflammatory reactions leading to periodontal disease in infected rats. Rats were fed fish oil (ω-3 FA) or corn oil (n-6 FA) diets for 22 weeks and were infected with P. gingivalis. Rats on the ω-3 FA diet exhibited elevated serum levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), documenting diet-induced changes. PCR analyses demonstrated that rats were orally colonized by P. gingivalis; increased IgG antibody levels substantiated this infection. P. gingivalis-infected rats treated with ω-3 FA had significantly less alveolar bone resorption. These results demonstrated the effectiveness of an ω-3 FA-supplemented diet in modulating alveolar bone resorption following P. gingivalis infection, and supported that ω-3 FA may be a useful adjunct in the treatment of periodontal disease. Abbreviations: PUFA, polyunsaturated fatty acid; EPA, eicosapentanoic acid; DHA, docosahexanoic acid; and PCR, polymerase chain-reaction.
PMCID: PMC2220053  PMID: 16798867
P. gingivalis; ω-3 PUFA; periodontal disease; alveolar bone loss; IgG antibody
19.  Quantitative Gene Expression Profiling Implicates Genes for Susceptibility and Resistance to Alveolar Bone Loss  
Infection and Immunity  2004;72(8):4471-4479.
Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent chronic inflammatory diseases. There is a genetic component to susceptibility and resistance to this disease. Using a mouse model, we investigated the progression of alveolar bone loss by gene expression profiling of susceptible and resistant mouse strains (BALB/cByJ and A/J, respectively). We employed a novel and sensitive quantitative real-time PCR method to compare basal RNA transcription of a 48-gene set in the gingiva and the spleen and the subsequent changes in gene expression due to Porphyromonas gingivalis oral infection. Basal expression of interleukin-1 beta (Il1b) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (Tnf) mRNA was higher in the gingiva of the susceptible BALB/cByJ mice than in the gingiva of resistant A/J mice. Gingival Il1b gene expression increased further and Stat6 gene expression was turned on after P. gingivalis infection in BALB/cByJ mice but not in A/J mice. The basal expression of interleukin-15 (Il15) in the gingiva and the basal expression of p-selectin (Selp) in the spleen were higher in the resistant A/J mice than in the susceptible BALB/cByJ mice. In the resistant A/J mice the expression of no genes detectably changed in the gingiva after infection. These results suggest a molecular phenotype in which discrete sets of differentially expressed genes are associated with genetically determined susceptibility (Il1b, Tnf, and Stat6) or resistance (Il15 and Selp) to alveolar bone loss, providing insight into the genetic etiology of this complex disease.
PMCID: PMC470695  PMID: 15271905
20.  Induction of IL-10-producing CD4+ T-cells in Chronic Periodontitis 
Journal of Dental Research  2011;90(5):653-658.
Precise immunological aspects of inflamed gingival mucosa remain to be elucidated in the murine experimental periodontitis model; therefore, we have characterized the mucosal immune cells in the inflamed gingiva of mice with alveolar bone reduction. Mice were orally infected with Porphyromonas gingivalis 15 times over 2 weeks. Gingival mononuclear cells (GMCs) were isolated from P. gingivalis- and sham-infected mice 1, 7, 15, and 30 days after the last infection. Although the greatest degree of periodontitis was seen in P. gingivalis-infected mice at 30 days after infection, the highest levels of IL-6 and TNF-α production were noted in the GMCs isolated 7 days after infection. Further, the frequency of RANKL+CD4+ T-cells in GMCs of inflamed gingiva peaked 15 days after infection. Importantly, the number of Foxp3+CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T (Treg)-cells was increased only in the experimental group 30 days after infection. Thus, intracellular cytokine analysis revealed an increased number of IL-10-producing CD4+ T-cells in inflamed gingiva when compared with the control group. These results suggest that there are potential roles for Treg cells during the chronic stage of periodontitis in the regulation of gingival inflammation and alveolar bone loss.
PMCID: PMC3144111  PMID: 21335536
mucosal immunology; periodontal disease; inflammation; bone loss
21.  Porphyromonas gingivalis and Treponema denticola Mixed Microbial Infection in a Rat Model of Periodontal Disease 
Porphyromonas gingivalis and Treponema denticola are periodontal pathogens that express virulence factors associated with the pathogenesis of periodontitis. In this paper we tested the hypothesis that P. gingivalis and T. denticola are synergistic in terms of virulence; using a model of mixed microbial infection in rats. Groups of rats were orally infected with either P. gingivalis or T. denticola or mixed microbial infections for 7 and 12 weeks. P. gingivalis genomic DNA was detected more frequently by PCR than T. denticola. Both bacteria induced significantly high IgG, IgG2b, IgG1, IgG2a antibody levels indicating a stimulation of Th1 and Th2 immune response. Radiographic and morphometric measurements demonstrated that rats infected with the mixed infection exhibited significantly more alveolar bone loss than shaminfected control rats. Histology revealed apical migration of junctional epithelium, rete ridge elongation, and crestal alveolar bone resorption; resembling periodontal disease lesion. These results showed that P. gingivalis and T. denticola exhibit no synergistic virulence in a rat model of periodontal disease.
PMCID: PMC2879544  PMID: 20592756
22.  Mice Lacking Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Demonstrate Impaired Killing of Porphyromonas gingivalis  
Infection and Immunity  2003;71(9):4917-4924.
Porphyromonas gingivalis is a primary etiological agent of generalized severe periodontitis, and emerging data suggest the importance of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in periodontal tissue damage, as well as in microbial killing. Since nitric oxide (NO) released from inducible NO synthase (iNOS) has been shown to possess immunomodulatory, cytotoxic, and antibacterial effects in experimental models, we challenged iNOS-deficient (iNOS−/−) mice with P. gingivalis by using a subcutaneous chamber model to study the specific contribution of NO to host defense during P. gingivalis infection. iNOS−/− mice inoculated with P. gingivalis developed skin lesions and chamber rejection with higher frequency and to a greater degree than similarly challenged C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) mice. Chamber fluid from iNOS−/− mice possessed significantly more P. gingivalis than that of WT mice. The immunoglobulin G responses to P. gingivalis in serum was similar in WT and iNOS−/− mice, and the inductions of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1β and interleukin-6, and prostaglandin E2 were comparable between the two mouse strains. Although no differences in total leukocyte counts in chamber fluids were observed between iNOS−/− and WT mice, the percentage of dead polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) was significantly greater in iNOS−/− mouse chamber fluids than that of WT samples. Interestingly, casein-elicited PMNs from iNOS−/− mice released more superoxide than did WT PMNs when stimulated with P. gingivalis. These results indicate that modulation of superoxide levels is a mechanism by which NO influences PMN function and that NO is an important element of the host defense against P. gingivalis.
PMCID: PMC187326  PMID: 12933833
23.  Animal Models for Periodontal Disease 
Animal models and cell cultures have contributed new knowledge in biological sciences, including periodontology. Although cultured cells can be used to study physiological processes that occur during the pathogenesis of periodontitis, the complex host response fundamentally responsible for this disease cannot be reproduced in vitro. Among the animal kingdom, rodents, rabbits, pigs, dogs, and nonhuman primates have been used to model human periodontitis, each with advantages and disadvantages. Periodontitis commonly has been induced by placing a bacterial plaque retentive ligature in the gingival sulcus around the molar teeth. In addition, alveolar bone loss has been induced by inoculation or injection of human oral bacteria (e.g., Porphyromonas gingivalis) in different animal models. While animal models have provided a wide range of important data, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether the findings are applicable to humans. In addition, variability in host responses to bacterial infection among individuals contributes significantly to the expression of periodontal diseases. A practical and highly reproducible model that truly mimics the natural pathogenesis of human periodontal disease has yet to be developed.
PMCID: PMC3038839  PMID: 21331345
24.  Effects of systemic ornidazole, systemic and local compound ornidazole and pefloxacin mesylate on experimental periodontitis in rats 
The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the effects of systemic ornidazole (SO) and systemic and local compound ornidazole and pefloxacin mesylate (SCOPM/LCOMP) on the inflammatory response associated with rat experimental chronic periodontitis (ECP) in sites with subgingival debridement.
Periodontitis was induced in male Sprague-Dawley rats by placing a thin steel ligature around the upper first molars and inoculating them with Porphyromonas gingivalis 381. After the successful induction of the rat ECP, the periodontitis rats were randomly divided into 3 different combined treatment groups: (A) SO with scaling and root planing (SRP); (B) SCOMP with SRP; and (C) LCOMP with SRP. After 2 weeks the effects of the treatments were evaluated based on gingivitis, plaque index, probing pocket depth, aspartate aminotransferase, alveolar bone loss, and hematoxylin-eosin staining of the region around the first molars.
After treatment, comparison with ECP was performed. The mean percentage reductions of SBI in SO, SCOPM, and LCOPM were 27.73%, 33.61%, and 58.82%, respectively. Those of PI were 33.20%, 42.80%, and 60.00%; those of PPD were 48.66%, 55.70%, and 72.48%; those of GCF-AST were 41.64%, 49.03%, and 66.42%; and those of ABL were 41.19%, 43.63%, and 54.47%, respectively. The inflammatory score of H&E showed median scores of 2.5, 1.75, 1.63, and 0.95 for ECP, SO, SCOMP, and LCOMP, respectively. All 3 treatment groups exhibited significantly reduced inflammation indicators (P<0.05). Of the 3, group C was the most effective (P<0.05).
Although all the combined treatment groups responded to therapy with significant resolution of the infection, adjunctive LCOMP therapy is more effective for periodontitis.
PMCID: PMC3560749  PMID: 22367122
periodontitis; antimicrobial agents; local drug delivery; ornidazole; pefloxacin mesylate
25.  Macrophage-Elicited Osteoclastogenesis in Response to Bacterial Stimulation Requires Toll-Like Receptor 2-Dependent Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha Production▿  
Infection and Immunity  2007;76(2):812-819.
The receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) and the proinflammatory cytokines are believed to play important roles in osteoclastogenesis. We recently reported that the innate immune recognition receptor, Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), is crucial for inflammatory bone loss in response to infection by Porphyromonas gingivalis, the primary organism associated with chronic inflammatory periodontal disease. However, the contribution of macrophage-expressed TLRs to osteoclastogenesis has not been defined. In this study, we defined a requirement for TLR2 in tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α)-elicited osteoclastogenesis in response to exposure to P. gingivalis. Culture supernatant (CS) fluids from P. gingivalis-stimulated macrophages induced bone marrow macrophage-derived osteoclastogenesis. This activity was dependent on TNF-α and occurred independently of RANKL, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and IL-6. CS fluids from P. gingivalis-stimulated TLR2−/− macrophages failed to express TNF-α, and these fluids induced significantly less osteoclast formation compared with that of the wild-type or the TLR4−/− macrophages. In addition, P. gingivalis exposure induced up-regulation of TLR2 expression on the cell surface of macrophages, which was demonstrated to functionally react to reexposure to P. gingivalis, as measured by a further increase in TNF-α production. These results demonstrate that macrophage-dependent TLR2 signaling is crucial for TNF-α-dependent/RANKL-independent osteoclastogenesis in response to P. gingivalis infection. Furthermore, the ability of P. gingivalis to induce the cell surface expression of TLR2 may contribute to the chronic inflammatory state induced by this pathogen.
PMCID: PMC2223461  PMID: 17998311

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