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, 45 (5), 626-34

Butyrate, a Bacterial Metabolite, Induces Apoptosis and Autophagic Cell Death in Gingival Epithelial Cells


Butyrate, a Bacterial Metabolite, Induces Apoptosis and Autophagic Cell Death in Gingival Epithelial Cells

H Tsuda et al. J Periodontal Res.


Background and objective: Butyrate is produced by some types of anaerobic periodontal bacteria. Millimolar concentrations of butyrate are found in mature dental plaque from periodontitis patients. Although butyrate reportedly has a variety of effects in many mammalian cells, its effect on gingival epithelial cells is not well known. In this study, we investigated the effect of butyrate on gingival epithelial Ca9-22 cell death.

Material and methods: Death of Ca9-22 cells was assessed after treating the cells with or without butyrate. A SYTOX Green dye, which exhibits strong green fluorescence once it enters dead cells through ruptured cell membranes, was used for cell death detection. Phosphatidylserine redistribution was measured using fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled annexin V. The activity of caspase-3 was measured as the amount of cleaved substrate peptide. Anti-apoptotic bcl-2 mRNA expression was measured using real-time RT-PCR. Western blotting and fluoromicroscopic analysis with anti-microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) antibodies were performed for detection of autophagy.

Results: Stimulation with millimolar concentrations of butyrate for 48 h induced Ca9-22 cell death. The stimulation also caused increased caspase-3 activity, phosphatidylserine redistribution and bcl-2 down-regulation, suggesting butyrate-induced apoptosis. However, the pan-caspase inhibitor, Z-VAD-FMK, did not inhibit cell death completely. This implies the existence of other types of cell death. In addition, markers of autophagy, namely, the conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II and increased LC3 accumulation, were observed. Moreover, inhibition of autophagy by 3-methyladenine suppressed the butyrate-induced cell death, suggesting that butyrate could induce cell death through autophagy.

Conclusion: These data suggest that butyrate induces apoptosis and autophagic cell death.

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