Periodontal microbial complexes associated with specific cell and tissue responses

Moritz Kebschull, Panos N Papapanou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS: In this review, we summarize data on the association between specific periodontal bacterial profiles and tissue gene/protein expression, generated from cell culture models and in vivo studies.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A PubMed search was conducted to identify publications related to the effects of periodontal microbiota on host cells/tissues.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate the presence of specific host tissue responses to particular microbial complexes, evident by differential regulation of gene or protein expression, ultimately resulting in distinct clinical phenotypes. Transcriptomic analyses showed that periodontal pathogens induce a small, "common core" of differentially regulated genes encoding for an inflammatory response, and a larger variable set of genes that may reflect pathogen-specific cellular responses. Limitations of available studies include (i) the unclear role of hundreds of subgingival species not yet investigated, (ii) the fact that in vitro studies utilizing single populations of oral cells challenged with mono-infections of planktonic bacteria may not adequately portray human periodontal diseases and (iii) the cross-sectional nature of most human studies that makes them inherently incapable of allowing temporal or causal inferences. Longitudinal studies in humans hold the potential to be superior to any model, but need to be adequately powered and controlled.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Volume38 Suppl 11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


  • Animals
  • Bacteria/classification
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation/genetics
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Diseases/genetics
  • Periodontium/microbiology
  • Proteome/genetics


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