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Mol Oral Microbiol. 2012 Dec;27(6):449-57. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-1014.2012.00657.x. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

Inhibition of Porphyromonas gingivalis-induced periodontal bone loss by CXCR4 antagonist treatment.

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Center for Oral Health and Systemic Disease, University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Louisville, KY, USA.


Microbial pathogens have evolved mechanisms to proactively manipulate innate immunity, thereby improving their fitness in mammalian hosts. We have previously shown that Porphyromonas gingivalis exploits CXC-chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4) to instigate a subversive crosstalk with Toll-like receptor 2 that inhibits leukocyte killing of this periodontal pathogen. However, whether CXCR4 plays a role in periodontal disease pathogenesis has not been previously addressed. Here, we hypothesized that CXCR4 is required for P. gingivalis virulence in the periodontium and that treatment with AMD3100, a potent CXCR4 antagonist, would inhibit P. gingivalis-induced periodontitis. Indeed, mice given AMD3100 via osmotic minipumps became resistant to induction of periodontal bone loss following oral inoculation with P. gingivalis. AMD3100 appeared to act in an antimicrobial manner, because mice treated with AMD3100 were protected against P. gingivalis colonization and the associated elevation of the total microbiota counts in the periodontal tissue. Moreover, even when administered 2 weeks after infection, AMD3100 halted the progression of P. gingivalis-induced periodontal bone loss. Therefore, AMD3100 can act in both preventive and therapeutic ways and CXCR4 antagonism could be a promising novel approach to treat human periodontitis.

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