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A recent paper by Ping Zhang, DDS, PhD, Professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, has been selected for the ‘Frontline Science’ section and featured as leading edge research in the October, 2020 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology (JLB).

JLB is a peer-reviewed, academic journal published by the Society for Leukocyte Biology.

Ping Zhang newsPing Zhang, DDS, PhDIn the article, “Characterization and regulation of osteoclast precursors following chronic Porphyromonas gingivalis infection”, Dr. Zhang and colleagues demonstrated in a mouse model that systemic infection with P. gingivalis, a keystone pathogen in periodontitis, leads to an increased frequency and osteoclastogenic potential of osteoclast precursors in the bone marrow and periphery. These precursor cells can translocate through circulation to bone surfaces, where they differentiate into mature osteoclasts (the body’s exclusive bone resorbing cells) in response to local infection and inflammation.  

In an editorial commentary, “Local destruction from distant action”, George Hajishengallis, DDS, PhD, Thomas W. Evans Centennial Professor at University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, writes, “This elegantly documented mechanism strengthens the reciprocal relationship between periodontitis and systemic events, offering new avenues for understating osteoimmune pathology and for developing rational therapeutic approaches.”

The first author of this article, Yanfang Zhao, DDS, PhD, is a post-doctoral trainee supported by the Dental Academic Research Training (DART) T90/R90 Program. Other co-authors of this article are: Drs. Zhaofei Li, Lingkai Su, Jannet Katz (Pediatric Dentistry), Suzanne M. Michalek (Microbiology), Andre Ballesteros-Tato (Medicine), and Xu Feng (Pathology). This study was supported by an R01 grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).

Hajishengallis, G. (2020). Local destruction from distant action. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, (108) 1033-1035. https://doi.org/10.1002/JLB.3CE0720-364R