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Cytokine induction by periodontopathogenic bacteria

Wilson, M; Henderson, B; (1998) Cytokine induction by periodontopathogenic bacteria. EOS Rivista di Immunologia ed Immunofarmacologia , 18 (1-2) 35 - 42.

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Abstract

The interaction between bacteria and eukaryotic cells is complex and we are only now beginning to understand the signalling events which tell the host that it is being invaded by infectious agents. Unfortunately, we have less understanding of the active processes which must exist to allow us to live harmoniously with the bacteria which live on and within our bodies. However, as mentioned previously, experiments with cytokine knockouts have revealed that the loss of function of specific cytokine genes can turn the response to the normal bowel flora into a lethal inflammation (3,4,98) or can leave the genetically altered mouse unresponsive to LPS (99). It is our thesis that the interactions between bacteria and host cells are important both for the induction of responsiveness to infectious agents and for the induction of non-responsiveness to commensal bacteria. These interactions, whether mediated by surface components or secreted products, can result in the production of cytokines. We have depicted a situation where mutual signalling between bacteria and host can result either in: (i) the induction of cytokine driven processes which produces inflammation and the removal of the bacteria or (ii) a null state in which the bacteria are tolerated. In the oral cavity, where we have one of the most diverse bacterial ecosystems in the body, this null state appears to be overcome in a large proportion of the population. Why this occurs is not clear but may relate to the concentration of cytokine-inducing molecules being produced locally. Such bacterial cytokine-inducing components could therefore be targets for the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases. If one could determine which were the key components then the possibility of immunization to prevent the induction of the periodontal diseases takes a step nearer reality.

Type:Article
Title:Cytokine induction by periodontopathogenic bacteria
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute > Microbial Diseases

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