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Infect Immun. 2005 Feb;73(2):935-43.

Cytokine profiling of macrophages exposed to Porphyromonas gingivalis, its lipopolysaccharide, or its FimA protein.

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  • 1Department of Periodontology and Oral Biology, School of Dental Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, 700 Albany Street, W-201E, Boston, MA 02118, USA.

Erratum in

  • Infect Immun. 2006 Mar;74(3):1995.


To characterize the roles of Porphyromonas gingivalis and its components in the disease processes, we investigated the cytokine profile induced by live P. gingivalis, its lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and its major fimbrial protein, fimbrillin (FimA). Using cytokine antibody arrays, we found that P. gingivalis LPS and FimA induced a similar profile of cytokine expression when exposed to mouse peritoneal macrophages but that this profile differed significantly in response to live P. gingivalis. In vitro, mouse peritoneal macrophages were stimulated to produce interleukin-6 (IL-6), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and lymphotactin by live P. gingivalis, but not by P. gingivalis LPS or FimA, while RANTES, gamma interferon, IL-17, vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor were induced by P. gingivalis LPS or FimA, but not by live P. gingivalis. In vivo, IL-6 mRNA was strongly induced only by live P. gingivalis while monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 mRNA was strongly induced only by P. gingivalis LPS and FimA in mouse calvarial scalp, further confirming the differences of cytokine profile induced in vitro. Cytokine antibody arrays using toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)- and TLR4-deficient macrophages revealed that most of the cytokines induced by P. gingivalis LPS or FimA signal through TLR2, while most of cytokines induced by live P. gingivalis signal through both TLR2 and TLR4. Interestingly, the activation of TLR2 by live P. gingivalis inhibited the release of RANTES, VCAM-1, and IL-1alpha from mouse peritoneal macrophages. A tumor necrosis factor alpha enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay further confirmed that P. gingivalis LPS and FimA activate mouse peritoneal macrophages via TLR2. These results indicate that host immune cells sense live P. gingivalis and its components differently, which translates into the expression of different inflammatory cytokine profiles.

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