Heterogeneity of Porphyromonas gingivalis strains in the induction of alveolar bone loss in mice

Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2000 Feb;15(1):27-32. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-302x.2000.150105.x.


These experiments examine alveolar bone loss in a model in which specific pathogen-free mice are exposed orally with Porphyromonas gingivalis. Alveolar bone loss was induced as a result of a specific infection with P. gingivalis, rather than other environmental antigens. Infection with live P. gingivalis was required, as significant bone loss did not follow gavage with formalin-killed P. gingivalis. The virulence of different strains of P. gingivalis was compared. Two laboratory strains of the bacteria (ATCC 53977 and W50) and a mutant strain lacking the 43-kDa fimbrillin (strain DPG3) induced bone loss. P. gingivalis 381, however, did not induce bone loss. There was a strong immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody response to infection with each strain but a significant serum IgA response only to strain 381. These studies show that in mice with a background oral microflora bone loss is induced by a specific infection with P. gingivalis and that bacterial strain variation is important in determining whether alveolar bone loss will ensue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alveolar Bone Loss / microbiology*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fimbriae Proteins*
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / immunology
  • Genetic Heterogeneity
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / classification
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / pathogenicity*
  • Species Specificity
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Virulence


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • fimbrillin
  • Fimbriae Proteins