Transcriptome analysis of B cell immune functions in periodontitis: Mucosal tissue responses to the oral microbiome in aging

Jeffrey L. Ebersole, Sreenatha S. Kirakodu, M. John Novak, Luis Orraca, Janis Gonzalez Martinez, Larry L. Cunningham, Mark V. Thomas, Arnold Stromberg, Subramanya N. Pandruvada, Octavio A. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Evidence has shown activation of T and B cells in gingival tissues in experimental models and in humans diagnosed with periodontitis. The results of this adaptive immune response are noted both locally and systemically with antigenic specificity for an array of oral bacteria, including periodontopathic species, e.g., Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. It has been recognized through epidemiological studies and clinical observations that the prevalence of periodontitis increases with age. This report describes our studies evaluating gingival tissue transcriptomes in humans and specifically exploiting the use of a non-human primate model of naturally occurring periodontitis to delineate gingival mucosal tissue gene expression profiles focusing on cells/genes critical for the development of humoral adaptive immune responses. Patterns of B cell and plasmacyte genes were altered in aging healthy gingival tissues. Substantial increases in a large number of genes reflecting antigen-dependent activation, B cell activation, B cell proliferation, and B cell differentiation/maturation were observed in periodontitis in adults and aged animals. Finally, evaluation of the relationship of these gene expression patterns with those of various tissue destructive molecules (MMP2, MMP9, CTSK, TNFα, and RANKL) showed a greater frequency of positive correlations in healthy tissues versus periodontitis tissues, with only MMP9 correlations similar between the two tissue types. These results are consistent with B cell response activities in healthy tissues potentially contributing to muting the effects of the tissue destructive biomolecules, whereas with periodontitis this relationship is adversely affected and enabling a progression of tissue destructive events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number272
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberJUL
StatePublished - Jul 18 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Ebersole, Kirakodu, Novak, Orraca, Martinez, Cunningham, Thomas, Stromberg, Pandruvada and Gonzalez.


  • Aging
  • B cells
  • Gingival tissues
  • Non-human primates
  • Periodontitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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