Background and objective: Periodontitis is generally accepted to relate to gram-negative bacteria, and the host defense system influences its onset and progression. However, little is known about the relation between gram-positive bacteria and periodontitis. In this study, we topically applied gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial suspensions to the gingival sulcus in rats after immunization, and then histopathologically examined their influence on periodontal destruction.
Materials and methods: Rats previously immunized with heat-treated and sonicated Staphylococcus aureus or Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans were used as immunized groups. The non-immunized group received only sterile phosphate-buffered saline. In each animal, S. aureus or A. actinomycetemcomitans suspension was applied topically to the palatal gingival sulcus of first molars every 24 h for 10 d. Blood samples were collected and the serum level of anti-S. aureus or anti-A. actinomycetemcomitans immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The first molar regions were resected and observed histopathologically. Osteoclasts were stained with tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP). The formation of immune complexes was confirmed by immunohistological staining of C1qB.
Results: Serum levels of anti-S. aureus and anti-A. actinomycetemcomitans IgG antibodies in the immunized groups were significantly higher than those in the non-immunized groups were. The loss of attachment, increase in apical migration of the junctional epithelium, and decreases in alveolar bone level and number of TRAP-positive multinuclear cells in each immunized group were significantly greater than in each non-immunized group. The presence of C1qB was observed in the junctional epithelium and adjacent connective tissue in the immunized groups.
Conclusions: Heat-treated and sonicated S. aureus and A. actinomycetemcomitans induced attachment loss in rats immunized with their suspensions. Our results suggest that not only gram-negative but also gram-positive bacteria are able to induce periodontal destruction.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.