A dysbiotic microbiome triggers TH17 cells to mediate oral mucosal immunopathology in mice and humans

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Science Translational Medicine  17 Oct 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 463, eaat0797
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat0797

Probing periodontitis pathology

Periodontitis is a common inflammatory disease that can lead to bone loss. Dutzan et al. used a mouse model of ligature-induced periodontitis and samples from patients to demonstrate that TH17 cells drive disease. People naturally deficient in TH17 cells were less likely to develop periodontitis. These pathogenic cells were dependent on the microbiome, and targeting TH17 cells with a small-molecule inhibitor dampened inflammation and bone loss in mice. Their results reveal mechanisms behind the immunopathology and could lead to effective treatments for this disease.

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