Subgingival lipid A profile and endotoxin activity in periodontal health and disease.
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OBJECTIVES: Regulation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) chemical composition, particularly its lipid A domain, is an important, naturally occurring mechanism that drives bacteria-host immune system interactions into either a symbiotic or pathogenic relationship. Members of the subgingival oral microbiota can critically modulate host immuno-inflammatory responses by synthesizing different LPS isoforms. The objectives of this study were to analyze subgingival lipid A profiles and endotoxin activities in periodontal health and disease and to evaluate the use of the recombinant factor C assay as a new, lipid A-based biosensor for personalized, point-of-care periodontal therapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Subgingival plaque samples were collected from healthy individuals and chronic periodontitis patients before and after periodontal therapy. Chemical composition of subgingival lipid A moieties was determined by ESI-Mass Spectrometry. Endotoxin activity of subgingival LPS extracts was assessed using the recombinant factor C assay, and their inflammatory potential was examined in THP-1-derived macrophages by measuring TNF-α and IL-8 production. RESULTS: Characteristic lipid A molecular signatures, corresponding to over-acylated, bi-phosphorylated lipid A isoforms, were observed in diseased samples. Healthy and post-treatment samples were characterized by lower m/z peaks, related to under-acylated, hypo-phosphorylated lipid A structures. Endotoxin activity levels and inflammatory potentials of subgingival LPS extracts from periodontitis patients were significantly higher compared to healthy and post-treatment samples. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to consider structure-function-clinical implications of different lipid A isoforms present in the subgingival niche and sheds new light on molecular pathogenic mechanisms of subgingival biofilm communities. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Subgingival endotoxin activity (determined by lipid A chemical composition) could be a reliable, bacterially derived biomarker and a risk assessment tool for personalized periodontal care.
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