We examined the induction of the cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 by lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) from several species of possible endodontopathic black-pigmented bacteria. Studies were conducted in human whole blood cultures from six patients (two from each group) with differing numbers of periapical periodontitis lesions (i.e. patients with radiographically clear periapical lesions in 10 or more teeth (high-lesion group, n = 4), in one or two teeth (low-lesion group, n = 6), and six healthy volunteers with no periapical lesions (no lesion group)). LPS from Prevotella intermedia ATCC 25611, Porphyromonas gingivalis 381, and Porphyromonas endodontalis ATCC 27067 induced a higher IL-8 response in the subjects of the high-lesion group, compared with the subjects of the other two groups. To ascertain the degree of sensitization by test bacteria, we examined the reactivities of antibodies in serum and saliva from the subjects to different bacterial species. LPS from P. gingivalis reacted strongly with sera from the high-lesion group. Thus, LPS from black-pigmented bacteria may be involved in multilesional periapical periodontitis by inducing particular cytokines and/or humoral immune responses.
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