In vitro homeostasis of rat oral epithelial cell cultures following withdrawal of periodontal pathogens

Ali A Abdulkareem, Hayder R Abdulbaqi, Michael R Milward

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Inflammation of periodontal tissues is the consequence of interaction between periodontal pathogens and immune system. This is associated with increased expression of inflammatory cytokines, which may exert destructive effect to the periodontal tissues when released over long period. The aim of this study was to chronologically track the homeostasis of oral keratinocytes following removal of periodontal pathogens. This was done by investigating expression of selected inflammatory markers and integrity of epithelial monolayers in vitro. Rat oral keratinocytes were stimulated with heat-killed Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gingivalis over 7-days then bacteria were washed away and epithelial cells re-cultured for 3-days. Expression of IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 was measured by ELISA while transcription of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) and matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) was measured by polymerase chain reaction before and after removal of bacteria. Integrity of epithelial sheet was investigated by using transepithelial electrical resistance. Data showed general downregulation of IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 associated with restoring transcription of TIMP-1 and MMP-8 to normal level following removal of bacteria from epithelial cultures. However, expression of IL-8 and MMP-8 remained significantly higher than unstimulated epithelial cells despite withdrawal of F. nucleatum and P. gingivalis respectively from oral keratinocytes cultures. In addition, integrity of epithelial barrier function remained compromised even after removal of P. gingivalis. Results suggest that even after three days following removal of periodontal pathogens, oral keratinocytes sustained persistent upregulation of certain inflammatory markers that could compromise integrity of epithelial barrier function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
JournalBrazilian dental journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2020


  • Cytokine(s)
  • Gene expression
  • Innate immunity
  • Matrix metalloproteinase(s)
  • Pathogenesis of periodontal disease(s)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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