Mechanisms contributing to the enhanced respiratory burst of neutrophils observed in periodontitis

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The aim of this thesis is to investigate possible mechanisms that may contribute to neutrophil hyperactivity and hyper-reactivity. One possibility is the presence of a neutrophil priming factors within the peripheral circulation of periodontitis patients. To examine this possibility differentiated HL-60 cells and primary neutrophils were studied in the presence and absence of plasma from periodontitis patients. In independent experiments, plasma was depleted of IL-8, GM-CSF, interferon-a, immunoglobulins and albumin. This work demonstrated that plasma factors such as IL-8, GM-CSF, and interferon-a present during periodontitis may contribute towards the reported hyperactive neutrophil phenotype. Furthermore, this work demonstrated that products from Pg may regulate neutrophil accumulation at infected periodontal sites by promoting gingipain-dependent modification of IL-8-77 into a more biologically active chemokine. To elucidate whether the oxidatively stressed environment that neutrophils are exposed to in periodontitis could influence hyperactivity and hyper-reactivity, neutrophils were depleted of glutathione. This work showed that during oxidative stress, where cellular redox-levels have been altered, neutrophils exhibit an increased respiratory burst. In conclusion, this work highlights the multiple mechanisms that may contribute to neutrophil hyperactivity and hyperreactivity including gingipain-modulated activity of IL-8 variants, the effect of host factors such as IL-8, GM-CSF, interferon-a on neutrophils priming and activation, and the shift of neutrophil GSH:GSSG ratio in favour of a more oxidised environment as observed in periodontitis.
Date of Award2009
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHelen R Griffiths (Supervisor) & Iain L.C. Chapple (Supervisor)


  • enhanced respiratory burst
  • neutrophils
  • periodontitis

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