The immune system is constructed to enable a very broad, almost infinite ability to respond to antigenic challenges, including those derived from the oral microbiome related to periodontitis and caries. This concept has been described as the immunobiography of each individual and is a composite of challenges and responses early in life that may program the immune system for the characteristics of responses later in life.... more »
Immune System Balance and Flexibility in Maintaining Good Oral Health
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The antigenic ecospace can be defined as "the universe of antigens that [have] driven [immune system] evolution.(1) How this ecospace changes on the individual level during the initiation and progression of disease, such as periodontitis, and how the individual host immune capacity reacts to these changes remains ill-defined. Reference 1. Capri M, Salvioli S, Monti D, Bucci L, Garagnani P, Ottaviani E, Franceschi C.... more »
While work on immune responses in the oral cavity and studies of periodontitis have demonstrated changes with aging, it is not clear which of these features are truly driven by aging processes. Moreover, virtually all of these studies have focused on chronological aging. However, recent innovative approaches in other disciplines have begun to explore the concept of "biological aging" as a better descriptor for risk of... more »
The commensal flora-immune system interactions that help to maintain oral health is an understudied area. The flexibility of the immune system related to the immunobiography and aging effects on this response repertoire clearly has a critical component of interactions with the commensal or autochthonous microbiome of an individual. We still know little regarding how commensal bacteria help program symbiotic immune responses,... more »
As data has been gathered documenting roles for various host responses in the deleterious consequences of the persistent inflammation in periodontitis, as well as the unique feature of the resolution response biomolecules, modern tools for host response modulation (i.e., array of monoclonal antibody drugs for chronic inflammatory diseases) have generally not been evaluated related to periodontitis. If we are to increase... more »
The specific areas of interest enumerated in the concept clearance would help advance research on Sjögren's Syndrome. The underlying reasons for immune hyperactivity in this disease are poorly understood. It is critical to understand what factors drive this pathologic activation in order to maintain immune homeostasis in these individuals.