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Infect Immun. Oct 1995; 63(10): 3878–3885.
PMCID: PMC173546

Porphyromonas gingivalis invasion of gingival epithelial cells.


Porphyromonas gingivalis, a periodontal pathogen, can invade primary cultures of gingival epithelial cells. Optimal invasion occurred at a relatively low multiplicity of infection (i.e., 100) and demonstrated saturation at a higher multiplicity of infection. Following the lag phase, during which bacteria invaded poorly, invasion was independent of growth phase. P. gingivalis was capable of replicating within the epithelial cells. Invasion was an active process requiring both bacterial and epithelial cell energy production. Invasion was sensitive to inhibitors of microfilaments and microtubules, demonstrating that epithelial cell cytoskeletal rearrangements are involved in bacterial entry. P. gingivalis, but not epithelial cell, protein synthesis was necessary for invasion. Invasion within the epithelial cells was not blocked by inhibitors of protein kinase activity. Invasion was inhibited by protease inhibitors, suggesting that P. gingivalis proteases may be involved in the invasion process. Low-passage clinical isolates of P. gingivalis invaded with higher efficiency than the type strain. Serum inhibited invasion of the type strain but had no effect on the invasion of a clinical isolate. Invasion of gingival epithelial cells by P. gingivalis may contribute to the pathology of periodontal diseases.

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Selected References

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