Infection of primary human gingival fibroblasts by Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia
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Adhesion and penetration of clinical isolates of Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia in human gingival fibroblast monolayers were studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Fibroblasts were cultured from biopsies of human healthy gingiva. Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia were isolated from patients with periodontitis. Fibroblasts were incubated with microorganisms in an antibiotic-free medium for 24 h. Then cultures were washed to remove nonadherent bacteria. Consecutively, infected cultures were grown for another 24 h. Thereafter, the treated monolayers were prepared for TEM investigations. Internalized Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia were visible after 24 h of incubation. Prevotella intermedia showed only division in cytoplasm of fibroblasts after 24 h and 48 h incubations. Infected fibroblasts revealed various morphological alterations such as extensive vacuolization and breakdown of mitochondria. These findings demonstrate that Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia may invade human gingival fibroblasts and thus may damage these cells directly or due to the release of microbial cytotoxic components.
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