Chemokines are a family of low-molecular-weight proinflammatory cytokines that stimulate recruitment of leukocytes. The chemokines interleukin-8 (IL-8) and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) are relatively specific chemoattractants for neutrophils and monocytes, respectively. Chemokine expression contributes to the presence of different leukocyte populations observed in normal and pathologic states. In the present studies, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were stimulated by microbes (Candida albicans, Streptococcus mutans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans) selected based upon their importance as oral pathogens. IL-8 and MCP-1 gene expression and protein release were determined by Northern blot (RNA blot) analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. C. albicans, P. gingivalis, and A. actinomycetemcomitans induced high levels of production of both MCP-1 and IL-8. S. mutans was a strong inducer of MCP-1, but it did not stimulate significant production of IL-8. C. albicans, S. mutans, and A. actinomycetemcomitans were 500 to 5,000 times more potent than P. gingivalis in terms of MCP-1 production. In general, the microbe-to-PBMC ratios required for maximum gene expression of MCP-1 were lower than those for IL-8. However, for actual protein release of MCP-1 versus IL-8, differences in the effects of various microbe concentrations were observed only for A. actinomycetemcomitans. These results demonstrate that different oral pathogens induce specific dose-dependent patterns of chemokine gene expression and release. Such patterns may help explain the immunopathology of oral infections, particularly with regard to inflammatory leukocyte recruitment
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