Filifactor alocis interactions with gingival epithelial cells

C. E. Moffatt, S. E. Whitmore, A. L. Griffen, E. J. Leys, R. J. Lamont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


An association between the gram-positive anaerobe Filifactor alocis and periodontal disease has recently emerged; however, possible pathogenic mechanisms have not been investigated. In this study we examined the responses of primary cultures of gingival epithelial cells (GECs) to infection with F. alocis. Secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α from GECs was stimulated by F. alocis infection. F. alocis also induced apoptosis in GECs through pathways that involved caspase-3 but not caspase-9. Apoptosis was coincident with inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) activation. These results show that F. alocis has characteristics in common with established periodontal pathogens and has the potential to contribute to periodontal tissue destruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-373
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Oral Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Cytokine
  • Periodontal disease
  • Periodontal pathogens
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)


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