Black-pigmented anaerobic bacteria, such as Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia, are amongst the predominant bacteria in periodontal pockets and have been implicated in periodontal diseases. To elucidate the roles of gingival keratinocytes, which are the first cells encountered by oral bacteria in periodontal diseases, human gingival keratinocytes in primary culture were stimulated with cell-surface components of P. gingivalis and Pr. intermedia. A glycoprotein fraction from Pr. intermedia (PGP) clearly augmented the release of interleukin-8, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. This PGP also induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), as determined by flow cytometry. The augmentation of mRNA expression for these molecules was also confirmed by reverse transcription PCR. In contrast, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Pr. intermedia and Escherichia coli was completely inactive in these assays. LPS fraction and purified fimbriae from P. gingivalis exhibited weak activities. Cytokine production and ICAM-1 expression by gingival keratinocytes might cause accumulation and activation of neutrophils in the epithelium and, therefore, may be involved in the initiation and development of inflammation in periodontal tissues.
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