Immunologic characteristics of human gingival fibroblasts in response to oral bacteria

J. Y. Jang, I. S. Song, K. J. Baek, Y. Choi, S. Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objective: There is ample evidence that gingival fibroblasts (GFs) participate in the immune response to oral bacteria and serve as immune-regulatory cells. The objective of this study was to investigate the innate immune response of GFs to oral bacteria. Material and Methods: Human GFs were cocultured with relatively less-pathogenic (Leptotrichia wadei, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Campylobacter gracilis) and pathogenic red-complex bacteria. The expression of mRNA for antimicrobial peptides [AMPs; namely human beta defensins (HBDs)], chemokines with antimicrobial activity [chemokine C-X-C motif (CXCL)10, CXCL11 and chemokine C-C motif ligand 20 (CCL20)] and proinflammatory mediators [interleukin (IL)6 and IL8] and the levels of CXCL11, CCL20, IL-6 and IL-8 accumulated in supernatants were analyzed using real-time PCR and ELISA, respectively. The proteolytic activities of CXCL11, CCL20, IL-6 and IL-8 produced by six species of bacteria were also determined. Results: The relatively less-pathogenic bacteria strongly up-regulated the expression of antimicrobial chemokines and proinflammatory mediators, whereas the red-complex bacteria stimulated low levels, or often suppressed, expression of these factors. Regarding the regulation of AMPs, the inhibition of HBD3, HBD106 and HBD107 mRNAs by Porphyromonas gingivalis was noticeable; however, differences between the two bacterial groups were not conspicuous. Differential degradation of proteins by the six bacterial species was observed: P. gingivalis and Treponema denticola degraded proteins well, whereas the other species degraded proteins to a relatively lower degree. Conclusion: The invasion of red-complex bacteria into gingival connective tissue can suppress the immune response of GFs and can be a source of persistent infection in connective tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-457
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun


  • antimicrobial chemokines
  • human gingival fibroblasts
  • oral bacteria
  • proinflammatory mediator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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