CX3CR1hi Monocyte/Macrophages Support Bacterial Survival and Experimental Infection-Driven Bone Resorption

Orit Steinmetz, Shifra Hoch, Shani Avniel-Polak, Keren Gavish, Luba Eli-Berchoer, Asaf Wilensky, Gabriel Nussbaum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Porphyromonas gingivalis, an anaerobic bacterium strongly linked to infection-driven inflammatory bone erosion, thrives within a highly inflamed milieu and disseminates to distant sites, such as atherosclerotic plaque. We examined the role of monocyte/macrophages in determining the outcome of infection with P. gingivalis. Surprisingly, transient monocyte/macrophage depletion led to greatly improved clearance of P. gingivalis. The chemokine receptors CCR2 and CX3CR1 play a major role in monocyte recruitment and differentiation to Ly6Chi vs CX3CR1hi subsets, respectively. To determine the contribution of particular monocyte/macrophage subsets to bacterial survival, we challenged chemokine receptor knockout mice and found that P. gingivalis clearance is significantly improved in the absence of CX3CR1. CX3CR1hi monocyte/macrophages promote P. gingivalis survival by downregulating neutrophil phagocytosis. Furthermore, CX3CR1 knockout mice resist bone resorption in the oral cavity following challenge with P. gingivalis. Our findings provide an explanation for bacterial coexistence alongside an activate neutrophil infiltrate.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1505-1515
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.


  • monocytes
  • neutrophils
  • periodontitis
  • phagocytosis
  • phagocytosis


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