Metabolomics Insight Into Periodontal Disease Published in the Journal of Dental Research


Metabolomics Insight Into Periodontal Disease Published in the Journal of Dental Research

Data reveal altered host-bacteria interactions associated with periodontitis

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (October 19, 2011) — Metabolon, Inc., the leader in metabolomics, biomarker discovery and biochemical analysis, announced today the publication of "Metabolomics Revealed Elevated Macromolecular Degradation in Periodontal Disease," in the Journal of Dental Research. Non-targeted biochemical profiling (metabolomics) provided insight into the biochemical mechanisms underlying periodontitis pathogenesis and identified potential disease biomarkers. The study was carried out by Virginia M. Barnes and colleagues of Colgate-Palmolive, and SUNY-Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine, with co-authors from Metabolon. Periodontal disease, described as inflammation of the gums, is among the most common infectious diseases.

Previously, untargeted metabolomic profiling of gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) found that metabolites associated with inflammation, oxidative stress, tissue degradation, and bacterial metabolism were significantly induced by periodontal disease. This report expanded the analysis to investigate the impact of periodontitis on saliva, the primary fluid in the oral cavity. In the periodontal disease subjects, researchers measured increased levels of multiple classes of biochemicals, including dipeptide, amino acid, carbohydrate, lipids and nucleotide metabolites. These changes indicated periodontitis is associated with increased degradation of proteins, triacylglycerol, glycerolphospholipids, polysaccharides and polynucleotides. This macromolecular degradation provides a fertile environment for bacterial expansion as a result of the increased availability of metabolites to oral microflora for energy production. Importantly, this more favorable energy environment for oral bacteria potentially exacerbates the disease state. Since saliva is a readily collected material, in contrast to GCF, and biochemically rich, the current study provides an extensive pool of potential biomarkers for evaluating periodontal disease in a point of care environment.

This research is being conducted and shared in the hopes there will be a better understanding of oral diseases on a subclinical level. This enhanced and objective learning will help researchers in efforts towards improving both oral health as well as overall health.

The article has been published on-line in the Journal of Dental Research and may be accessed by this link:

About Metabolon
Metabolon, Inc. has advanced the field of metabolomics by pioneering and patenting the industry’s leading biochemical biomarker discovery and profiling platform. It has developed the technology to quickly identify and measure all of the biochemicals in a biological sample through its proprietary global processing method. Through the generation and interpretation of data, this method provides a precise understanding of disease etiology and drug action, and advances personalized medicine beyond what genomics and other approaches can promise. Metabolon’s expertise is being embraced by a wide range of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food and agricultural companies. Metabolytics, its biomarker discovery and analysis business, has completed over 320 client studies and processed over 30,000 samples for customers in 2010 alone. Building on its expertise in biochemistry understanding, Metabolon is also developing proprietary diagnostic tests to determine and track disease progression. For more information about Metabolon, please visit or contact Matt Zaske at or 919-595-2200.

Media Contact:
Mackenzie Mills