Publication Date



Clinical and Experimental Immunology


Phenotypic and functional heterogeneity of macrophages is clearly a critical component of their effective functions in innate and adaptive immunity. This investigation hypothesized that altered profiles of gene expression in gingival tissues in health, disease, and resolution would reflect changes in macrophage phenotypes occurring in these tissues. The study used a nonhuman primate model to evaluate gene expression profiles as footprints of macrophage variation using a longitudinal experimental model of ligature-induced periodontitis in animals from 3 to 23 years of age to identify aging effects on the gingival environment. Significant differences were observed in distribution of expressed gene levels for M0, M1, and M2 macrophages in healthy tissues with the younger animals showing the least expression. M0 gene expression increased with disease in all but the aged group, while M1 was increased in adult and young animals, and M2 in all age groups, as early as disease initiation (within 0.5 months). Numerous histocompatibility genes were increased with disease, except in the aged samples. An array of cytokines/chemokines representing both M1 and M2 cells were increased with disease showing substantial increases with disease initiation (e.g. IL1A, CXCL8, CCL19, CCL2, CCL18), although the aged tissues showed a more limited magnitude of change across these macrophage genes. The analytics of macrophage genes at sites of gingival health, disease, and resolution demonstrated distinct profiles of host response interactions that may help model the disease mechanisms occurring with the formation of a periodontal lesion.


aging, macrophage, nonhuman primate, periodontitis, transcriptome



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