T-lymphocyte phenotype and function triggered byAggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitansis serotype-dependent

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Background and Objective:

Based on lipopolysaccharide (LPS) antigenicity, different Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans serotypes have been described. Serotype b strains have demonstrated a stronger capacity to trigger cytokine production on dendritic cells (DCs). As DCs regulate the development of T-lymphocyte lineages, the objective of this investigation was to study the response of T lymphocytes after being stimulated with autologous DCs primed with different bacterial strains belonging to the most prevalent serotypes of A. actinomycetemcomitans in humans: a–c.

Material and Methods:

Human DCs were primed with increasing multiplicity of infection (10−1–102) or the purified LPS (10–50 ng/mL) of A. actinomycetemcomitans serotypes a–c and then used to stimulate autologous naïve CD4+ T lymphocytes. The T-helper (Th) type 1, Th2, Th17 and T-regulatory transcription factors T-bet, GATA-3, RORC2 and Foxp3, which are the master-switch genes implied in their specific differentiation, as well as T-cell phenotype-specific cytokine patterns were quantified by real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In addition, the intracellular expression of T-bet/interferon-γ, GATA-3/interleukin-4, RORC2/interleukin-17A and Foxp3/transforming growth factor-β1 was analysed by double staining and flow cytometry.


All the A. actinomycetemcomitans serotypes led to T-lymphocyte activation; however, when T lymphocytes were stimulated with DCs primed with the A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype b strain or their purified LPS, higher levels of Th1- and Th17-associated transcription factors and cytokines were detected compared with similar experiments with the other serotypes.


These results demonstrate that serotype b of A. actinomycetemcomitans has a higher capacity of trigger Th1 and Th17 phenotype and function and it was demonstrated that their LPS is a more potent immunogen compared with the other serotypes.

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