Food Science and Technology Department


Department of Food Science and Technology: Faculty Publications

Document Type


Date of this Version



Journal of Dental Research (November 2009) 89(5)


Treponema denticola has been identified as an important cause of periodontal disease and hypothesized to be involved in extra-oral infections. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of T. denticola cell length and motility during mouse peritoneal macrophages in vitro uptake. Macrophages, incubated under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, produced a similar amount of TNF-α when stimulated with Escherichia coli LPS. The uptake of FlgE- and CfpA-deficient mutants of T. denticola was significantly increased compared with the wild-type strain, due to cell size or lack of motility. Opsonization with specific antibodies considerably improved the treponemes’ uptake. These results suggest that macrophages, in addition to other phagocytes, could play an important role in the control of T. denticola infection, and that the raising of specific antibodies could improve the efficacy of the immune response toward T. denticola, either at an oral site or during dissemination.