The effect of chronic emotional stress on the humoral immune response to Porphyromonas gingivalis in mice

Yael Houri-Haddad, Oded Itzchaki, David Ben-Nathan, Lior Shapira*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Scopus citations


    Previous studies have shown that psychological stress plays a significant role in the outcome of infectious diseases, but data related to the effect of stress on periodontal infection is limited. The present study was designed to test the impact of emotional stress on the humoral immune response to the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis in a mouse model of local inflammation. Chambers constructed from titanium wire were implanted in the subcutaneous dorsolumbar region of mice. All mice were immunized with P. gingivalis followed by an intrachamber challenge with the bacteria. One group of mice was used as control, while the other two experienced experimental stress conditions (isolation/restraint stress). Stress-1 group was stressed during the immunization period, while Stress-2 group was stressed during the local challenge period. Chamber exudates and serum were collected and analyzed for levels of anti-P. gingivalis antibodies (IgG, IgG1 and IgG2a). The levels of serum antibodies to P. gingivalis were not different between the three tested groups, excluding increased levels of IgG2a in Stress-1 group at baseline. The levels of antibodies in the chamber exudates were significantly lower in the stressed groups at baseline, but higher at d 7. The IgG1 to IgG2a ratio was significantly higher in the control group compared with the two stressed groups. The findings of the present study suggest that chronic psychological stress had a marked impact on the localized response to P. gingivalis challenge. The lower IgG1/IgG2a ratio observed in the stress groups suggests elevated Th1 response during stress.

    Original languageAmerican English
    Pages (from-to)204-209
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 2003


    • Antibody response
    • Infection
    • Porphyromonas gingivalis
    • Stress


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