Influence of periodontal bacteria and disease status on Vβ expression in T cells

A. Mathur, Bryan S Michalowicz, C. Yang, D. Aeppli

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26 Scopus citations


Some bacterial antigens such as S. aureus enterotoxins can selectively stimulate T cells that express specific Vβ genes of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not periodontal bacteria could similarly alter the expression of Vβ families within the TCR complex. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNCs) were isolated from 12 patients with early onset periodontitis and 11 periodontally‐healthy controls. PBMNCs were incubated in media alone, or co‐cultured for 48 h with heat‐inactivated A. actinomycetemcomitans, P. gingivalis, and P. intermedia. Expression of five Vβ families (Vαβ2, Vβ5, Vβ6, Vβ8, and Vβ12) was determined by use of monoclonal antibodies. Mean unstimulated expression of Vαβ2 and Vβ8 was significantly higher (p<0.05) in patients than healthy controls. Co‐culture with the three bacteria resulted in significant changes (increases or decreases) in Vβ expression in 27% of the trials. There were no significant differences in the number or direction of changes in samples from patients and controls. When compared to unstimulated controls, 18 significant increases but no decreases in the percentage of cell expressing Vαβ2, Vβ5, or Vβ6 were noted following co‐culture with P. intermedia. Overall, co‐culture with P. intermedia significantly (p<0.05) upregulated expression of the five Vβ families studied. These data suggest that periodontal bacteria may alter Vβ expression within the T cell receptor complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-373
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • T cell receptor
  • bacteria
  • periodontitis


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