Myd88 plays a major role in the keratinocyte response to infection with Porphyromonas gingivalis

David Polak, Asaf Zigron, Luba Eli-Berchoer, Lior Shapira, Gabriel Nussbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Aim: To explore the role of keratinocyte myeloid differentiation primary response 88 (MyD88) expression in the adhesion of Porphyromonas gingivalis to the cells and its subsequent invasion and intracellular survival. Materials and Methods: Primary mouse keratinocytes from wild-type (WT) or Myd88−/− mice were infected with P gingivalis alone or co-infected with Fusobacterium nucleatum. Bacterial adhesion and invasion were measured using fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry, and intracellular survival in keratinocytes was quantified by an antibiotic protection assay. Keratinocyte expression of antimicrobial peptides was measured by real-time PCR. Results: In the absence of MyD88, P gingivalis adherence, invasion, and intracellular survival were enhanced compared with WT keratinocytes. The presence of F nucleatum during infection increased the adhesion of P gingivalis to WT keratinocytes but reduced the adhesion to Myd88−/− keratinocytes. Fusobacterium nucleatum improved mildly the invasion and survival of P gingivalis in both cell types. Baseline expression of beta-defensin 2, 3, 4 and RegIII-γ was elevated in Myd88−/− keratinocytes compared to WT cells; however, following infection beta-defensin expression was strongly induced in WT cells but decreased dramatically in the MyD88 deficient cells. Conclusion: In the absence of MyD88 expression, P gingivalis adhesion to keratinocytes is improved, and invasion and intracellular survival are increased. Furthermore, keratinocyte infection by P gingivalis induces antimicrobial peptide expression in a MyD88-dependent manner. Thus, MyD88 plays a key role in the interaction between P gingivalis and keratinocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-404
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • adhesion/attachment
  • antimicrobial peptides
  • epithelium


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