Molecules and Cells

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 407–412 | Cite as

Treponema denticola suppresses expression of human β-defensin-2 in gingival epithelial cells through inhibition of TNFα production and TLR2 activation

  • Ji Eun Shin
  • Youngnim ChoiEmail author


We previously reported that Treponema denticola, a periodontal pathogen, suppressed the expression of human β-defensins (HBDs) and IL-8 in human gingival epithelial cells. To clarify the receptor(s) involved in the suppression of HBD-2, immortalized gingival epithelial (HOK-16B) cells were infected with live or heat-killed T. denticola for 24 h, and the expression of HBD-2 was examined by real-time RT-PCR. Live T. denticola, but not heat-killed bacteria, suppressed the expression of HBD-2 about 40%. Time courses of suppression revealed that T. denticola suppressed HBD-2 expression only at late time points, which was accompanied with the suppression of TNFα production. Neutralization of TNFα with an antibody abrogated the suppressive effect of T. denticola on HBD-2. Accordingly, heat-killed T. denticola did not suppress TNFα production. Knock-down of toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 via RNA interference reversed the suppressive effect of T. denticola on the expression of HBD-3, but not on the production of TNFα. Collectively, T. denticola suppresses the expression of HBD-2 in gingival epithelial cells by inhibiting the TLR2 axis and TNFα production, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of periodontitis by T. denticola.


gingival epithelium human beta-defensin-2 TLR2 TNFα Treponema denticola 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology and Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oromaxillofacial Infection and Immunity, Brain Korea 21 CLS, School of Dentistry and Dental Research InstituteSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

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