Endogenous acid ceramidase protects epithelial cells from Porphyromonas gingivalis-induced inflammation in vitro

Mariane Maffei Azuma, Pooja Balani, Heike Boisvert, Mindy Gil, Kenji Egashira, Tsuguno Yamaguchi, Hatice Hasturk, Margaret Duncan, Toshihisa Kawai, and Alexandru Movila

Ceramidases are a group of enzymes that degrade pro-inflammatory ceramide by cleaving a fatty acid to form anti-inflammatory sphingosine lipid. Thus far, acid, neutral and alkaline ceramidase isozymes have been described. However, the expression patterns of ceramidase isoforms as well as their role in periodontal disease pathogenesis remain unknown. In this study, expression patterns of ceramidase isoforms were quantified by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry in gingival samples of patients with periodontitis and healthy subjects, as well as in EpiGingival™-3D culture and OBA-9 gingival epithelial cells both of which were stimulated with or without the presence of live Porphyromonas gingivalis ( ATCC 33277 strain). A significantly lower level of acid ceramidase expression was detected in gingival tissues from periodontal patients compared to those from healthy subjects. In addition, acid-ceramidase expression in EpiGingival™ 3D culture and OBA-9 cells was suppressed by stimulation with P. gingivalis in vitro . No significant fluctuation was detected for neutral or alkaline ceramidases in either gingival samples or cell cultures. Next, to elucidate the role of acid ceramidase in P. gingivalis -induced inflammation in vitro , OBA-9 cells were transduced with adenoviral vector expressing the human acid ceramidase (AdASAH1 ) gene or control adenoviral vector (Ad-control). In response to stimulation with P. gingivalis , ASAH1 -over-expressing OBA-9 cells showed significantly lower mRNA expressions of caspase-3 as well as the percentage of Annexin V-positive cells, when compared with OBA-9 cells transduced with Ad-control vector. Furthermore, in response to stimulation with P. gingivalis , ASAH1 -over-expressing OBA-9 cells produced less TNF-ͣ, IL-6, and IL1ͤ pro-inflammatory cytokines than observed in OBA-9 cells transduced with Ad-control vector. Collectively, our data show the novel discovery of anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects of acid ceramidase in host cells exposed to periodontal bacteria, and the attenuation of the expression of host-protective acid ceramidase in periodontal lesions.


GIN-100, Ceramidase, P. gingivalis, bacterial infection, periodontal disease, periodontitis

Materials Tested

P. gingivalis

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