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Cell cycle arrest of human gingival fibroblasts and periodontal ligament cells by Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans: involvement of the cytolethal distending toxin

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Belibasakis GN, Mattsson A, Wang Y, Chen C, Johansson A. Cell cycle arrest of human gingival fibroblasts and periodontal ligament cells by A. actinomycetemcomitans: involvement of the cytolethal distending toxin. APMIS 2004;112:674–85.

The cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) is produced by several Gram-negative bacterial species and causes growth arrest and morphological alterations in mammalian cells. Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, which is involved in the pathogenesis of localized aggressive periodontitis, also produces a Cdt that affects periodontal connective tissue cells. The aim of this study was to investigate in which phase of the cell cycle these cells are arrested and enlarged when challenged with A. actinomycetemcomitans, and to evaluate the involvement of its Cdt. Human gingival fibroblasts and periodontal ligament cells were challenged with A. actinomycetemcomitans extract, or with purified Cdt, and cell cycle analysis was performed by propidium iodide staining and flow cytometry. Cells exposed to an A. actinomycetemcomitans wild-type strain, or to purified Cdt, were arrested in both G1 and G2/M phases, and appeared enlarged compared to the corresponding controls. The cellular enlargement occurred in both G1 and G2/M arrested cells. In contrast, cells exposed to an A. actinomycetemcomitanscdt-knockout mutant strain showed cell cycle phase distribution and size similar to the controls. In conclusion, A. actinomycetemcomitans causes a combined G1 and G2/M growth arrest and enlargement in periodontal connective tissue cells, which is attributed to its Cdt.
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Keywords: Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans; Cytolethal distending toxin; cell cycle arrest; flow cytometry; periodontal connective tissue cells

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Periodontology, Department of Odontology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden 2: Division of Primary Oral Health Care, University of Southern California School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Publication date: 2004-10-01

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