Colocalization ofPorphyromonas gingivaliswith CD4+ T cells in periodontal disease

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Porphyromonas gingivalis, an anaerobic, asaccharolytic gram-negative bacterium, is a causative agent in chronic periodontitis. It has many virulence factors that facilitate infection of the gingiva, but little is known about the local immune cells that respond to this bacterium. The aims of this study were to quantify P. gingivalis in gingival biopsies from patients with periodontitis using laser capture microdissection (LCM) plus qRT-PCR and to determine the phenotype of immune cells associated with the bacteria using immunofluorescence. The presence of P. gingivalis was confirmed in periodontitis gingival tissue from 10 patients, and differences in bacterial distribution in the epithelium and connective tissue with or without inflammatory infiltrates were observed. Immune cells found in the biopsy tissues, including CD20+ mature B cells and CD138+ plasma cells, were associated with the Th2-type immune response. Most P. gingivalis was in direct contact with CD4+ T cells. This study revealed for the first time the colocalization of P. gingivalis with immune cells. Use of LCM combined with qRT-PCR enabled quantitative analysis of bacteria in a selected area of a biopsy sample without any tissue degradation. Observation of the immune cells associated with these bacteria was also performed by immunofluorescence.

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