The clinical association between obesity-associated type 2 diabetes (T2D) and periodontitis, coupled with the increasing prevalence of these diseases, justifies studies to identify mechanisms responsible for the vicious feed-forward loop between systemic and oral disease. Changes in the immune system are critical for both obesity-associated T2D and periodontitis and therefore may link these diseases. Recent studies at the intersection of immunology and metabolism have greatly advanced our understanding of the role the immune system plays in the transition between obesity and obesity-associated T2D and have shown that immune cells exhibit similar functional changes in obesity/T2D and periodontitis. Furthermore, myeloid and lymphoid cells likely synergize to promote obesity/T2D-associated periodontitis despite complexities introduced by disease interaction. Thus the groundwork is being laid for researchers to exploit existing models to understand immune cell dysfunction and break the devastating relationship between obesity-associated T2D and oral disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-352
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants R21DK089270 , R21DE021154 , NIH R56 DK096525 ).


  • cell biology
  • cytokine(s)
  • inflammation
  • periodontal disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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