Influence of titanium on in vitro fibroblast–Porphyromonas gingivalisinteraction in peri-implantitis

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Titanium wear particles have been found in peri-implant tissues, but their role in the pathogenesis of peri-implantitis remains unclear. We aimed to determine the in vitro inflammatory responses of peri-implant granulation tissue fibroblasts (PIGFs) to titanium particles alone and in the presence of viable Porphyromonas gingivalis.

Materials & Methods

Peri-implant granulation tissue fibroblasts were challenged either with TiO2 particles, P. gingivalis or a combination of TiO2 particles and P. gingivalis. Gene expression and protein production of pro-inflammatory mediators by PIGFs were measured with PCR and ELISA, respectively.


Higher doses of TiO2 were toxic to PIGFs and in sub-toxic doses, TiO2 caused an increase in gene expression of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-A and increased protein production of TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8. A challenge with P. gingivalis alone induced gene expression of TNF-A, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8. A combined challenge with TiO2 and P. gingivalis caused a stronger increase in gene expression of TNF-A and protein production of TNF-α and MCP-1 than P. gingivalis alone.


TiO2 particles and P. gingivalis, individually, can induce pro-inflammatory responses in PIGFs. Furthermore, TiO2 particles and viable P. gingivalis further enhance gene expression and production of TNF-α by PIGFs. Therefore, Ti wear particles in the peri-implant tissues in combination with P. gingivalis infection may contribute to the pathogenesis of peri-implantitis by enhancing the inflammation in peri-implant tissues.

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