Lipoxin A₄ inhibits porphyromonas gingivalis-induced aggregation and reactive oxygen species production by modulating neutrophil-platelet interaction and CD11b expression

Infect Immun. 2011 Apr;79(4):1489-97. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00777-10. Epub 2011 Jan 24.


Porphyromonas gingivalis is an etiological agent that is strongly associated with periodontal disease, and it correlates with numerous inflammatory disorders, such as cardiovascular disease. Circulating bacteria may contribute to atherogenesis by promoting CD11b/CD18-mediated interactions between neutrophils and platelets, causing reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and aggregation. Lipoxin A₄ (LXA₄) is an endogenous anti-inflammatory and proresolving mediator that is protective of inflammatory disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of LXA₄ on the P. gingivalis-induced activation of neutrophils and platelets and the possible involvement of Rho GTPases and CD11b/CD18 integrins. Platelet/leukocyte aggregation and ROS production was examined by lumiaggregometry and fluorescence microscopy. Integrin activity was studied by flow cytometry, detecting the surface expression of CD11b/CD18 as well as the exposure of the high-affinity integrin epitope, whereas the activation of Rac2/Cdc42 was examined using a glutathione S-transferase pulldown assay. The study shows that P. gingivalis activates Rac2 and Cdc42 and upregulates CD11b/CD18 and its high-affinity epitope on neutrophils, and that these effects are diminished by LXA₄. Furthermore, we found that LXA₄ significantly inhibits P. gingivalis-induced aggregation and ROS generation in whole blood. However, in platelet-depleted blood and in isolated neutrophils and platelets, LXA₄ was unable to inhibit either aggregation or ROS production, respectively. In conclusion, this study suggests that LXA₄ antagonizes P. gingivalis-induced cell activation in a manner that is dependent on leukocyte-platelet interaction, likely via the inhibition of Rho GTPase signaling and the downregulation of CD11b/CD18. These findings may contribute to new strategies in the prevention and treatment of periodontitis-induced inflammatory disorders, such as atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Atherosclerosis / microbiology
  • Bacteroidaceae Infections / complications
  • Bacteroidaceae Infections / immunology
  • Bacteroidaceae Infections / metabolism*
  • Blood Platelets / immunology
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Blood Platelets / pathology
  • Blotting, Western
  • CD11b Antigen / biosynthesis*
  • CD18 Antigens / metabolism
  • Cell Aggregation / physiology
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Cell Separation
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Lipoxins / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / immunology
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • CD11b Antigen
  • CD18 Antigens
  • Lipoxins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • lipoxin A4
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins