Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Microbiology & Immunology

First Advisor

S. Esra Sahingur


Periodontitis is a biofilm-initiated inflammatory disease, resulting in soft tissue damage and alveolar bone loss. A nucleic acid sensor, toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9), has been recently implicated in periodontal inflammation. This study utilized an in vivo periodontitis model using TLR9 knockout (TLR9-/-) mice to assess the role of TLR9 in periodontitis. Significant bone loss was observed in wild type, but not in TLR9-/- mice. Further experiments using ex vivo assays revealed significantly higher IL-6 production in splenocytes of wild type mice compared to knockout cells in response to Porphyromonas gingivalis (a keystone pathogen for periodontitis) challenge. In conclusion, TLR9 contributes to periodontal inflammation through promoting a heightened inflammatory response. Therapeutics targeted to TLR9 may be beneficial to control periodontal disease.


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Available for download on Thursday, August 15, 2024