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1.  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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057178
PMCID: PMC3581444  PMID: 23451182
2.  CcpA Regulates Central Metabolism and Virulence Gene Expression in Streptococcus mutans▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2008;190(7):2340-2349.
CcpA globally regulates transcription in response to carbohydrate availability in many gram-positive bacteria, but its role in Streptococcus mutans remains enigmatic. Using the fructan hydrolase (fruA) gene of S. mutans as a model, we demonstrated that CcpA plays a direct role in carbon catabolite repression (CCR). Subsequently, the expression of 170 genes was shown to be differently expressed (≥2-fold) in glucose-grown wild-type (UA159) and CcpA-deficient (TW1) strains (P ≤ 0.001). However, there were differences in expression of only 96 genes between UA159 and TW1 when cells were cultivated with the poorly repressing substrate galactose. Interestingly, 90 genes were expressed differently in wild-type S. mutans when glucose- and galactose-grown cells were compared, but the expression of 515 genes was altered in the CcpA-deficient strain in a similar comparison. Overall, our results supported the hypothesis that CcpA has a major role in CCR and regulation of gene expression but revealed that in S. mutans there is a substantial CcpA-independent network that regulates gene expression in response to the carbohydrate source. Based on the genetic studies, biochemical and physiological experiments demonstrated that loss of CcpA impacts the ability of S. mutans to transport and grow on selected sugars. Also, the CcpA-deficient strain displayed an enhanced capacity to produce acid from intracellular stores of polysaccharides, could grow faster at pH 5.5, and could acidify the environment more rapidly and to a greater extent than the parental strain. Thus, CcpA directly modulates the pathogenic potential of S. mutans through global control of gene expression.
doi:10.1128/JB.01237-07
PMCID: PMC2293215  PMID: 18223086
3.  Bis-Enoxacin Blocks Rat Alveolar Bone Resorption from Experimental Periodontitis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92119.
Periodontal diseases are multifactorial, caused by polymicrobial subgingival pathogens, including Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, and Tannerella forsythia. Chronic periodontal infection results in inflammation, destruction of connective tissues, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone resorption, and ultimately tooth loss. Enoxacin and a bisphosphonate derivative of enoxacin (bis-enoxacin) inhibit osteoclast formation and bone resorption and also contain antibiotic properties. Our study proposes that enoxacin and/or bis-enoxacin may be useful in reducing alveolar bone resorption and possibly bacterial colonization. Rats were infected with 109 cells of polymicrobial inoculum consisting of P. gingivalis, T. denticola, and T. forsythia, as an oral lavage every other week for twelve weeks. Daily subcutaneous injections of enoxacin (5 mg/kg/day), bis-enoxacin (5, 25 mg/kg/day), alendronate (1, 10 mg/kg/day), or doxycycline (5 mg/day) were administered after 6 weeks of polymicrobial infection. Periodontal disease parameters, including bacterial colonization/infection, immune response, inflammation, alveolar bone resorption, and systemic spread, were assessed post-euthanasia. All three periodontal pathogens colonized the rat oral cavity during polymicrobial infection. Polymicrobial infection induced an increase in total alveolar bone resorption, intrabony defects, and gingival inflammation. Treatment with bis-enoxacin significantly decreased alveolar bone resorption more effectively than either alendronate or doxycycline. Histologic examination revealed that treatment with bis-enoxacin and enoxacin reduced gingival inflammation and decreased apical migration of junctional epithelium. These data support the hypothesis that bis-enoxacin and enoxacin may be useful for the treatment of periodontal disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092119
PMCID: PMC3956892  PMID: 24638087

Results 1-3 (3)