Departmental Papers (Dental)

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Journal Article

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Cellular Microbiology

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The Aggregatibactor actinomycetemcomitans cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) induces G2 arrest and apoptosis in lymphocytes; these toxic effects are due to the active subunit, CdtB, which functions as a phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-triphosphate (PIP3) phosphatase. We now extend our investigation and demonstrate that Cdt is able to perturb human macrophage function. THP-1- and monocyte-derived macrophages were found not to be susceptible to Cdt-induced apoptosis. Nonetheless, the toxin was capable of binding to macrophages and perturbing PI-3K signalling resulting in decreased PIP3 levels and reduced phosphorylation of Akt and GSK3β these changes were accompanied by concomitant alterations in kinase activity. Exposure of monocytes and macrophages to Cdt resulted in pro-inflammatory cytokine production including increased expression and release of IL-1β, TNFα and IL-6. Furthermore, treatment of cells with either TLR-2, -3 or -4 agonists in the presence of Cdt resulted in an augmented pro-inflammatory response relative to agonist alone. GSK3β inhibitors blocked the Cdt-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine response suggesting a pivotal role for PI-3K blockade, concomitant decrease in GSK3β phosphorylation and increased kinase activity. Collectively, these studies provide new insight into the virulence potential of Cdt in mediating the pathogenesis of disease caused by Cdt-producing organisms. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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Date Posted: 08 December 2022

This document has been peer reviewed.