Barnes, V M, et al., Acceleration of Purine Degradation by Periodontal Diseases. J Dent Res, 2009. 88(9): 851-5.


Periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, are characterized by bacterial plaque accumulation around the gingival crevice and the subsequent inflammation and destruction of host tissues. To test the hypothesis that cellular metabolism is altered as a result of host-bacteria interaction, we performed an unbiased metabolomic profiling of gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) collected from healthy, gingivitis, and periodontitis sites in humans, by liquid and gas chromatography mass spectrometry. The purine degradation pathway, a major biochemical source for reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, was significantly accelerated at the disease sites. This suggests that periodontal-disease-induced oxidative stress and inflammation are mediated through this pathway. The complex host-bacterial interaction was further highlighted by depletion of anti-oxidants, degradation of host cellular components, and accumulation of bacterial products in GCF. These findings provide new mechanistic insights and a panel of comprehensive biomarkers for periodontal disease progression.

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