Int J Oral Biol.  2012 Sep;37(3):137-145.

Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Strongly Stimulates Endothelial Cells to Produce Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 and Interleukin-8

  • 1Department of Oral Microbiology, School of Dentistry, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea.
  • 2Department of Microbiology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju 501-746, Korea.


Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is the most important etiologic agent of aggressive periodontitis and can interact with endothelial cells. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) are chemokines, playing important roles in periodontal pathogenesis. In our current study, the effects of A. actinomycetemcomitans on the production of MCP-1 and IL-8 by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were investigated. A. actinomycetemcomitans strongly induced the gene expression and protein release of both MCP-1 and IL-8 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Dead A. actinomycetemcomitans cells were as effective as live bacteria in this induction. Treatment of HUVEC with cytochalasin D, an inhibitor of endocytosis, did not affect the mRNA up-regulation of MCP-1 and IL-8 by A. actinomycetemcomitans. However, genistein, an inhibitor of protein tyrosine kinases, substantially inhibited the MCP-1 and IL-8 production by A. actinomycetemcomitans, whereas pharmacological inhibition of each of three members of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase family had little effect. Furthermore, gel shift assays showed that A. actinomycetemcomitans induces a biphasic activation (early at 1-2 h and late at 8-16 h) of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and an early brief activation (0.5-2 h) of activator protein-1 (AP-1). Activation of canonical NF-kappaB pathway (IkappaB kinase activation and IkappaB-alpha degradation) was also demonstrated in these experiments. Although lipopolysaccharide from A. actinomycetemcomitans also induced NF-kappaB activation, this activation profile over time differed from that of live A. actinomycetemcomitans. These results suggest that the expression of MCP-1 and IL-8 is potently increased by A. actinomycetemcomitans in endothelial cells, and that the viability of A. actinomycetemcomitans and bacterial internalization are not required for this effect, whereas the activation of protein tyrosine kinase(s), NF-kappaB, and AP-1 appears to play important roles. The secretion of high levels of MCP-1 and IL-8 resulting from interactions of A. actinomycetemcomitans with endothelial cells may thus contribute to the pathogenesis of aggressive periodontitis.


Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans; monocyte chemoattractant protein-1; interleukin-8; endothelial cells
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