• animal models;
  • cytokines;
  • neonatal;
  • periodontopathic bacteria;
  • endotoxin


The aim of this investigation was to analyze the effects of early life exposure to periodontopathic bacterial lipopolysaccharides on immunoresponse. Newborn BALB/c mice were subcutaneously injected with 20 ng lipopolysaccharide of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans or Escherichia coli daily for 2 days, starting within 24 h after birth. The treated mice were given intraperitoneal injections of bovine serum albumin at 180 and 187 days of age. Seventeen hours after each injection, the mice were bled and sera were separated. Their sera were tested in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay system. The mean interleukin-4, interleukin-5, interleukin-6 and immunoglobulin E levels in the sera of mice treated neonatally with P. gingivalis lipopolysaccharide were significantly higher than those of the controls. However, in all cases, no significant difference was noted between mice treated neonatally with A. actinomycetemcomitans- or E. coli lipopolysaccharide and control mice. These data suggest that neonatal exposure to P. gingivalis lipopolysaccharide induces changes in immunological responses when the mice reach maturity.