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Mol Oral Microbiol. 2010 Jun;25(3):226-35. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-1014.2009.00550.x.

Desulfovibrio spp. survive within KB cells and modulate inflammatory responses.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Bactériologie-UMR CNRS 7565, Faculté de Médecine, Nancy Université, Nancy, France.


Desulfovibrio are sulfate-reducing anaerobic gram-negative rods that have been proposed as potential periodontopathogens. We investigated the capacity of Desulfovibrio to invade epithelial cells and induce cytokine secretion from these cells. Desulfovibrio strains were co-cultured with KB cells and counts of intracellular bacteria evaluated up to 3 days after infection. Desulfovibrio desulfuricans and Desulfovibrio fairfieldensis were able to survive within epithelial cells. Intracytoplasmic location of both bacterial species was confirmed by confocal laser scanning microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Invasion was sensitive to nocodazole, an inhibitor of microtubule polymerization, but not to cytochalasin D, a microfilament inhibitor, suggesting that microtubule rearrangements were involved in the internalization of Desulfovibrio strains by KB cells. Infection by Desulfovibrio resulted in increased production of IL-6 and IL-8 by KB cells. The ability of D. desulfuricans and D. fairfieldensis to survive within oral epithelial cells and to modulate the epithelial immune response may contribute to the initiation and progression of periodontal diseases.

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