Origin of Th17 Cells in Type 2 Diabetes-Potentiated Periodontal Disease

  • Barbara S. NikolajczykEmail author
  • Dolphus R. DawsonIII
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1197)


New strategies are critically needed to counter uncontrolled periodontal infection and inflammation in obesity-associated type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, mechanisms that explain the relationship between periodontitis (PD) and T2D remain poorly understood. Several lines of evidence indicate that destructive immune responses potentiate periodontitis (PD) in T2D. B cells are abundant in periodontal lesions, and our data show that B cells are required for PD in obese/insulin resistant but not lean/normoglycemic mice. In mice and in people, T2D-primed B cells supported Th17 cytokine profiles, but B cells had a modest effect on T-cell function in samples from normoglycemic individuals. Given the recently appreciated importance of Th17 cells in PD outside a T2D milieu, our data raise the possibility that B cells indirectly promote T2D-potentiated PD through support of Th17 cells, which in turn directly promote PD.

Data herein thereby suggest unexpected mechanisms that explain the clinical observation that T2D potentiates PD.


Periodontitis Inflammation Metabolic disease Obesity B cells Th17 cells 



Support: This work was supported by R01DE025383, R01DK108056U01, and U01DE025383.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara S. Nikolajczyk
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dolphus R. DawsonIII
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences and Barnstable Brown Diabetes CenterUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Oral Health Practice, Division of Periodontology, College of DentistryUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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