Immune system transcriptome in gingival tissues of young nonhuman primates

O. A. Gonzalez, R. Nagarajan, M. J. Novak, L. Orraca, J. A. Gonzalez-Martinez, S. S. Kirakodu, J. L. Ebersole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: Young/adolescent humans harbor many microorganisms associated with periodontal disease in adults and show substantial gingival inflammatory responses. However, younger individuals do not demonstrate the soft- and hard-tissue destruction that hallmark periodontitis. Material and Methods: This study evaluated responses to the oral microbial ecology in gingival tissues from clinically healthy young Macaca mulatta (< 3 years of age) compared with older animals (5-23 years of age). RNA was isolated from the tissues and analyzed for the transcriptome using the Rhesus Macaque GeneChip (Affymetrix). Results: Global transcriptional profiling of four age groups revealed a subset of 159 genes that were differentially expressed across at least one of the age comparisons. Correlation metrics generated a relevance network abstraction of these genes. Partitioning of the relevance network revealed seven distinct communities comprising functionally related genes associated with host inflammatory and immune responses. A group of genes was identified that were selectively increased/decreased or positively/negatively correlated with gingival profiles in the animals. A principal components analysis created metagenes of expression profiles for classifying the 23 animals. Conclusion: The results provide novel system-level insights into gene-expression differences in gingival tissues from healthy young animals, weighted toward host responses associated with anti-inflammatory biomolecules or those linked with T-cell regulation of responses. The combination of the regulated microenvironment may help to explain the apparent 'resistance' of younger individuals to developing periodontal disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-163
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


  • Aging
  • Inflammation
  • Nonhuman primates
  • Periodontitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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