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Keywords:

  • stem cells;
  • dental follicle;
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis ;
  • lipopolysaccharide;
  • toll-like receptors;
  • wound healing;
  • interleukin-6

Abstract

Periodontitis is a bacterially induced chronic inflammatory disease. Dental follicle progenitor cells (DFPCs) have been proposed as biological graft for periodontal regenerative therapies. The potential impact of bacterial toxins on DFPCs properties is still poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate whether DFPCs are able to sense and respond to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Porphyromonas gingivalis, a major periopathogenic bacterium. Specifically, we hypothesized that LPS could influence the migratory capacity and IL-6 secretion of DFPCs. DFPCs properties were compared to bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), a well-studied class of adult stem cells. The analysis by flow cytometry indicated that DFPCs, similar to BMSCs, expressed low levels of both toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and 4. The TLR4 mRNA expression was down-regulated in response to LPS in both cell populations, while on protein level TLR4 was significantly up-regulated on BMSCs. The TLR2 expression was not influenced by the LPS treatment in both DFPCs and BMSCs. The migratory efficacy of LPS-treated DFPCs was evaluated by in vitro scratch wound assays and found to be significantly increased. Furthermore, we assayed the secretion of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a potent stimulator of cell migration. Interestingly, the levels of IL-6 secretion of DFPCs and BMSCs remained unchanged after the LPS treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that DFPCs are able to sense and respond to P. gingivalis LPS. Our study provides new insights into understanding the physiological role of dental-derived progenitor cells in sites of periodontal infection.