Polymicrobial Periodontal Disease Triggers a Wide Radius of Effect and Unique Virome

Published on by Martin Jinye Zhang
Periodontal disease is a microbially-mediated inflammatory disease of tooth-supporting tissues that leads to bone and tissue loss around teeth. Although bacterially-mediated mechanisms of alveolar bone destruction have been widely studied, the effects of a polymicrobial infection on the periodontal ligament and microbiome/virome have not been well explored. Therefore, the current investigation introduced a new mouse model of periodontal disease to examine the effects of a polymicrobial infection on periodontal ligament (PDL) properties, changes in bone loss, the host immune response, and the microbiome/virome using shotgun sequencing. Periodontal pathogens, namely Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, Tannerella forsythia, and Fusobacterium nucleatum were used as the polymicrobial oral inoculum in BALB/cByJ mice. The polymicrobial infection triggered significant alveolar bone loss, a heightened antibody response, an elevated cytokine immune response, a significant shift in viral diversity and virome composition, and a widening of the PDL space; the latter two findings have not been previously reported in periodontal disease models. Changes in the PDL space were present at sites far away from the site of insult, indicating that the polymicrobial radius of effect extends beyond the bone loss areas and site of initial infection and wider than previously appreciated. Associations were found between bone loss, specific viral and bacterial species, immune genes, and PDL space changes. These findings may have significant implications for the pathogenesis of periodontal disease and biomechanical properties of the periodontium. This new polymicrobial mouse model of periodontal disease in a common mouse strain is useful for evaluating the features of periodontal disease.

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NIH R01 DE025225 grant

AAP Sunstar Innovation grant

NIH R21 DE027138

R01 DE022032

Chinese Scholarship Council