Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 2933–2941 | Cite as

Damage-regulated autophagy modulator 1 in oral inflammation and infection

  • Svenja MemmertEmail author
  • A. V. B. Nogueira
  • A. Damanaki
  • M. Nokhbehsaim
  • S. Eick
  • T. Divnic-Resnik
  • A. Spahr
  • B. Rath-Deschner
  • A. Till
  • W. Götz
  • J. A. Cirelli
  • A. Jäger
  • J. Deschner
Original Article



Damage-regulated autophagy modulator (DRAM) 1 is a p53 target gene with possible involvement in oral inflammation and infection. This study sought to examine the presence and regulation of DRAM1 in periodontal diseases.

Material and methods

In vitro, human periodontal ligament fibroblasts were exposed to interleukin (IL)-1β and Fusobacterium nucleatum for up to 2 days. The DRAM1 synthesis and its regulation were analyzed by real-time PCR, immunocytochemistry, and ELISA. Expressions of other autophagy-associated genes were also studied by real-time PCR. In vivo, synthesis of DRAM1 in gingival biopsies from rats and patients with and without periodontal disease was examined by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. For statistics, ANOVA and post-hoc tests were applied (p < 0.05).


In vitro, DRAM1 was significantly upregulated by IL-1β and F. nucleatum over 2 days and a wide range of concentrations. Additionally, increased DRAM1 protein levels in response to both stimulants were observed. Autophagy-associated genes ATG3, BAK1, HDAC6, and IRGM were also upregulated under inflammatory or infectious conditions. In vivo, the DRAM1 gene expression was significantly enhanced in rat gingival biopsies with induced periodontitis as compared to control. Significantly increased DRAM1 levels were also detected in human gingival biopsies from sites of periodontitis as compared to healthy sites.


Our data provide novel evidence that DRAM1 is increased under inflammatory and infectious conditions in periodontal cells and tissues, suggesting a pivotal role of DRAM1 in oral inflammation and infection.

Clinical relevance

DRAM1 might be a promising target in future diagnostic and treatment strategies for periodontitis.


Damage-regulated autophagy modulator Autophagy Fusobacterium nucleatum Interleukin-1β Periodontal ligament Periodontitis 



The authors would like to thank Ms. Ramona Menden, Ms. Silke van Dyck, Ms. Inka Bay and Prof. Heiko Spallek for their valuable support.


This study was supported by the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn, the University of Sydney, the German Orthodontic Society (DGKFO), the German Research Foundation (DFG, ME 4798/1–1) and by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (grant 01EK1603A-Neuro2D3, to AT).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Approval of the Ethics Committee of the University of Bonn was obtained (#117/15 #043/11) and of the Ethical Committee on Animal Experimentation (protocol number: 23/2012) from the School of Dentistry at Araraquara. Animal experiments were carried out following the recommendations of the ARRIVE guidelines.

Informed consent

All donors of the PDL cells or their parents gave written informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Svenja Memmert
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author return OK on get
  • A. V. B. Nogueira
    • 3
  • A. Damanaki
    • 1
  • M. Nokhbehsaim
    • 1
  • S. Eick
    • 4
  • T. Divnic-Resnik
    • 5
  • A. Spahr
    • 5
  • B. Rath-Deschner
    • 2
  • A. Till
    • 6
  • W. Götz
    • 2
  • J. A. Cirelli
    • 3
  • A. Jäger
    • 2
  • J. Deschner
    • 1
    • 7
  1. 1.Section of Experimental Dento-Maxillo-Facial Medicine, Center of Dento-Maxillo-Facial MedicineUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Department of Orthodontics, Center of Dento-Maxillo-Facial MedicineUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  3. 3.Department of Diagnosis and Surgery, School of Dentistry at AraraquaraSao Paulo State University, UNESPAraraquaraBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Periodontology, Laboratory for Oral Microbiology, School of Dental MedicineUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department/Discipline of Periodontics, Faculty of DentistryThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  6. 6.Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology, Life & Brain CenterUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  7. 7.Noel Martin Visiting Chair, Faculty of DentistryUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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