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Gum disease bacteria selectively disarm immune system, Penn study finds
Date:6/11/2014

e, the bacteria weren't as effective at colonizing the gums."

Further experiments in mice and in cultured human neutrophils helped the researchers identify additional elements of how P. gingivalis operates to subvert the immune system. They found that the TLR2-C5aR crosstalk leads to degradation of the protein MyD88, which normally helps clear infection. And in a separate pathway from MyD88, they discovered that P. gingivalis activates the enzyme PI3K through C5aR-TLR2 crosstalk, promoting inflammation and inhibiting neutrophils' ability to phagocytose, or "eat," invading bacteria.

Inhibiting the activity of either PI3K or a molecule that acted upstream of PI3K called Mal restored the neutrophils' ability to clear P. gingivalis from the gums.

"P. gingivalis uses this connection between C5aR and TLR2 to disarm and dissociate the MyD88 pathway, which normally protects the host from infection, from the proinflammatory and immune-evasive pathway mediated by Mal and PI3K," Hajishengallis said.

Not only does the team's discovery open up new targets for periodontitis treatment, it also suggests a bacterial strategy that could be at play in other diseases involving dysbiosis.


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Contact: Katherine Unger Baillie
kbaillie@upenn.edu
215-898-9194
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert  

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