Open Access Open Badges Research article

Porphyromonas gingivalis HmuY stimulates expression of Bcl-2 and Fas by human CD3+ T cells

Paulo C Carvalho-Filho15*, Soraya C Trindade12, Teresa Olczak3, Geraldo P Sampaio1, Milton G Oliveira-Neto1, Heidiane A Santos1, Bianca F P Pereira4, Lilia Moura-Costa1, Márcia T Xavier14 and Roberto Meyer1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Immunology, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, BA, Brazil

2 Department of Periodontics, Feira de Santana State University, Salvador, BA, Brazil

3 Department of Biotechnology, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland

4 Department of Dentistry, Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, Salvador, BA, Brazil

5 LABIMUNO-ICS-UFBA, Av. Reitor Miguel Calmon, s/n; Vale do Canela, Salvador, BA 40110100, Brazil

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BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:206  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-206

Published: 11 September 2013



Apoptosis is a highly controlled process of cell death that can be induced by periodontopathogens. The present study aimed to investigate the expression of Fas and Bcl-2 proteins by CD3+ T cells in vitro under stimulation by total Porphyromonas gingivalis antigens and purified recombinant P. gingivalis HmuY protein.


CD3+ T cells derived from CP patients and stimulated with HmuY expressed higher levels of Bcl-2 compared to identical cells stimulated with P. gingivalis crude extract or cells derived from NP control subjects (p = 0.043).


The authors hypothesize that P. gingivalis HmuY plays a role in the pathogenesis of chronic periodontitis, possibly by reducing or delaying apoptosis in T cells through a pathway involving the Bcl-2 protein.

Porphyromonas gingivalis; HmuY; Bcl-2; Fas; Apoptosis