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J Clin Periodontol. 2009 May;36(5):406-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2009.01393.x.

Mouse model of experimental periodontitis induced by Porphyromonas gingivalis/Fusobacterium nucleatum infection: bone loss and host response.

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Department of Periodontology, Faculty of Dental Medicine, The Hebrew University-Hadassah, Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.



To compare the effect of oral infection with Porphyromonas gingivalis or Fusobacterium nucleatum versus infection with both bacteria on mouse periodontal tissues, and to characterize the inflammatory response.


Mice were orally infected with P. gingivalis, F. nucleatum or both. At 42 days post-infection, alveolar bone loss was quantified using micro-computerized tomography. Tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin (IL)-1beta levels induced by the infection were quantified using the subcutaneous chamber model.


Mice orally infected with F. nucleatum/P. gingivalis exhibited significantly more bone loss compared with that of mono-infected and sham-infected mice. F. nucleatum/P. gingivalis infection also increased the levels of TNF-alpha and IL1beta compared with the levels found in the mono-infected groups.


Polymicrobial infection with P. gingivalis/F. nucleatum aggravates alveolar bone loss and induces a stronger inflammatory response compared with that observed upon infection with either bacterium alone. The results suggest that oral infection of mice with a mixture of P. gingivalis and F. nucleatum may be superior to mono-infection models of experimental periodontitis.

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