B cells promote obesity-associated periodontitis and oral pathogen-associated inflammation

Min Zhu, Anna C. Belkina, Jason DeFuria, Jordan D. Carr, Thomas E. Van Dyke, Robert Gyurko, Barbara S. Nikolajczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Individuals with T2D and PD suffer significantly from the ability of one disease to intensify the other. Disease-associated inflammation is one mechanism thought to fuel this pathogenic feed-forward loop. Several lines of evidence indicate that proinflammatory B cells promote T2D and PD; thus, B cells are top candidates for a cell type that predisposes PD in T2D. To test directly the role of B cells in T2D-associated PD, we compared outcomes from oral Porphyromonas gingivalis challenge of lean WT or B cell-null mice with outcomes from mice that were obese and insulin-resistant before challenge. Obese WT mice responded to oral P. gingivalis challenge with significant periodontal bone loss, whereas obese B cell-null mice were protected completely from PD. By contrast, lean WT and B cell-null mice suffer similar periodontal bone loss in response to oral pathogen. B cells from obese/insulin-resistant hosts also support oral osteoclastogenesis and both oral and systemic production of inflammatory cytokines, including pro-osteoclastogenic TNF-α and MIP-2, an ortholog of human IL-8. B cells furthermore impact AT inflammation in obese, P. gingivalis-infected hosts. Taken together, these data show that fundamentally different mechanisms regulate PD in lean and obese hosts, with B cells able to promote PD only if the hosts are "primed" by obesity. These results justify more intense analysis of obesity-associated changes in B cells that predispose PD in human T2D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-357
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • B lymphocyte
  • Cytokine
  • Mouse model
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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