Boston University Goldman School of Dental medicine Associate Dean for Research, Dr.Solomon Amar and his colleagues conducted a research which linked obesity to weakened antibacterial immunity.
Amar and his team looked at how control and obese mice fought the P.gingivitis infection. To study this, they infected the mice using silk thread that was coated with bacterial broth and tied around their molars.
It was found that obesity acutely compromised the immune responses to gum infection as well as infection of the entire body based on the bone loss and bacterial counts of the mice.
Dr.Amar was quoted as saying, “These findings are significant because they are the first to demonstrate an immune paralysis related to obesity. Based on this knowledge, substantial attention to antibacterial immunity will now be required in the treatment of obese individuals.”
The team also assessed the chemical secretion profile of macrophages and found that levels of key signaling molecules were considerably lower in macrophages from the obese mice, and the expression profile of inflammation-related genes was altered. Exactly how obesity causes this reaction remains uncertain, but the results highlight one particular signaling pathway involving the transcription factor NF-kB.
This paper was published on December 10, 2007 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).