Scientist Discovers Natural Mechanism
to Help Prevent Gum Disease
University of Louisville (UofL) School of Dentistry scientist has found a way
to prevent inflammation and bone loss surrounding the teeth by blocking a
natural signaling pathway of the enzyme GSK3b, which plays an important role in
directing the immune response.
discovery of UofL School of Dentistry researcher David Scott, Ph.D., and his
team was published on-line first in the journal Molecular Medicine. The
finding not only has implications in preventing periodontal disease, a chronic
inflammatory disease that causes tooth loss, but also may have relevance to
other chronic inflammatory diseases. Since GSK3b is involved in multiple
inflammatory signaling pathways, it is associated with a number of diseases and
also is being tested by scientists for its impact in Alzheimer’s disease, Type
II diabetes and some forms of cancer, to name a few.
known to worsen the inflammation that occurs during bacterial infections. Blocking
this enzyme from completing its normal function by using the GSK3-specific
inhibitor, SB216763, stopped the inflammation process and subsequent bone loss
induced by the key periodontal pathogen, P.
gingivalis, Dr. Scott says.
step is for Dr. Scott and his team to determine whether SB216763 has any
side-effects or whether they need to search for a different inhibitor of GSK3b.
article, “Inhibition of GSK3 abolishes
bacterial-induced periodontal bone loss in mice ” can be found on-line.