Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a fatal disease, and periodontitis is associated with OSCC development. However, the pathogenesis in the context of OSCC with periodontitis has not been fully understood. Here, we demonstrated that periodontitis promoted OSCC development, accompanied by alterations in the oral bacterial community and the tumor immune microenvironment. The oral microbiota from periodontitis maintained the dominant position throughout the whole process of OSCC with periodontitis, of which Porphyromonas was the most abundant genus. The oral microbiota from periodontitis could activate interleukin-17-positive (IL-17+) γδ T cells directly. The activated γδ T cells were necessary for the IL-17/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway and promoted M2-tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) infiltration in OSCC proliferation. Our data provide insight into the carcinogenesis of OSCC with periodontitis by outlining the tumor-associated immune response shaped by the oral microbiota from periodontitis. Thus, oral commensal bacteria and IL-17+ γδ T cells might be potential targets for monitoring and treating OSCC. IMPORTANCE The work reveals the role of the oral microbiota from periodontitis in carcinogenesis. Furthermore, our study provides insight into the pathogenesis of OSCC with periodontitis by outlining the tumor-associated immune response shaped by the oral microbiota from periodontitis, which might identify new research and intervention targets for OSCC with periodontitis.
Keywords: IL-17; OSCC; STAT3; microbiota; periodontitis; γδ T.