Porphyromonas gingivalis induces the production of IL‐31 by human mast cells, resulting in dysfunction of the gingival epithelial barrier
Interleukin (IL)‐31 is important for innate immunity in mucosal tissues and skin, and increased IL‐31 expression participates in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory diseases affecting the skin, airways, lungs, and intestines. We investigated the contribution of mast cells to the induction of IL‐31 production following infection with the periodontal pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis. We found that oral infection with P. gingivalis increased IL‐31 expression in the gingival tissues of wild‐type mice, but not in those of mast cell‐deficient mice. The P. gingivalis‐induced IL‐31 production by human mast cells occurred through the activation of the JNK‐ and NF‐κB signaling pathways, and was dependent on the P. gingivalis lysine‐specific protease gingipain‐K (Kgp). P. gingivalis infection induced IL‐31 receptor α and oncostatin M receptor β expression in human gingival epithelial cells. Notably, the P. gingivalis‐induced IL‐31 production by mast cells led to the downregulation of claudin‐1, a tight junction molecule, in gingival epithelial cells, resulting in an IL‐31‐dependent increase in the paracellular permeability of the gingival epithelial barrier. These findings suggest that IL‐31 produced by mast cells in response to P. gingivalis infection causes gingival epithelial barrier dysfunction, which may contribute to the chronic inflammation observed in periodontitis.
Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cmi.12972