Gingival tissue antibody gene utilization in aging and periodontitis

Jeffrey L. Ebersole, Linh M. Nguyen, Octavio A. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: This study used a nonhuman primate model of ligature-induced periodontitis to document the characteristics of immunoglobulin (Ig) gene usage in gingival tissues with disease and affected by age. Background: Adaptive immune responses to an array of oral bacteria are routinely detected in local gingival tissues and the systemic circulation across the human population. The level and diversity of antibody increases with periodontitis, reflecting the increased quantity of B cells and plasmacytes in the tissues at sites of periodontal lesions. Methods: Macaca mulatta (n = 36) in four groups (young – ≤3 years; adolescent >3–7 years; adult – 12–15 years; aged – 17-23 years) were used in this study. Gingival tissues were sampled at baseline (health), 2 weeks (initiation), 1 and 3 months (progression), and 5 months (resolution) of the lesion development and transcriptomic analysis included 78 Ig-related genes. Results: The results demonstrated extensive variation in Ig gene usage patterns and changes with the disease process that was substantially affected by the age of the animal. Of note was that the aged animals generally demonstrated elevated expression on multiple Ig genes even in the baseline/healthy gingival tissues. The expression levels revealed 5 aggregates of Ig gene change profiles across the age groups. The number of gene changes were greatly increased in adult animals with the initiation of disease, while the young and adolescent animals showed extensive changes with disease progression. Elevated Ig gene transcripts remained with disease resolution except in the aged animals. The response profiles demonstrated selective heavy/light change gene transcripts that differed with age and clustering of the transcript expression was dominated by the age of the animals. Conclusions: The results suggested potential critical variations in the molecular aspects of Ig gene expression in gingival tissues that can contribute to understanding the kinetics of periodontal lesions, as well as the variation in episodes, rapidity of progression, and role in resolution that are impacted by age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-798
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Institute of Health grant P20GM103538. We express our gratitude to the Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC) supported by grant P40RR03640, and the Center for Oral Health Research in the College of Dentistry at the University of Kentucky.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • aging
  • antibody
  • nonhuman primate
  • periodontitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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