BMC microbiology

Porphyromonas gingivalis can invade periodontal ligament stem cells.

PMID 28212613


Porphyromonas gingivalis is strongly associated with the development, progression, severity and recurrence of periodontitis. Periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) play an important role in the maintenance of periodontal tissue self-renewal and repair. The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of P. gingivalis to infect PDLSCs using an in vitro monolayer model. We separated and cultured primary PDLSCs using the tissue block with limiting dilution method. The efficiency of P. gingivalis (ATCC 33277) infection of PDLSCs was measured using agar plate culture and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) methods. PDLSCs infected with P. gingivalis were also observed by transmission electron microscopy. We assessed stem cell properties including cell morphology, clone formation, growth activity, cell surface antigens and multiple differentiation capacity. The infection rates of P. gingivalis in PDLSC at MOIs of 50, 100, 200, and 500 were 5.83%, 8.12%, 7.77% and 7.53% according to the agar plate culture method. By q-PCR, the efficiencies of P. gingivalis infection of PDLSCs at MOIs of 50, 100, 200, and 500 were 6.74%, 10.56%, 10.36% and 9.78%, respectively. Overall, the infection efficiency based on q-PCR was higher than that according to agar plate culture. Using transmission electron microscopy, we verified that P. gingivalis (ATCC 33277) could infect and invade PDLSCs after 2 h of incubation, and endocytic vacuoles were not found surrounding the internalized bacteria. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that P. gingivalis can invade PDLSCs.