Outer membrane vesicles of Porphyromonas gingivalis: Novel communication tool and strategy

Hirohiko Okamura, Katsuhiko Hirota, Kaya Yoshida, Yao Weng, Yuhan He, Noriko Shiotsu, Mika Ikegame, Yoko Uchida-Fukuhara, Airi Tanai, Jiajie Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been recognized as a universal method of cellular communications and are reportedly produced in bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. Bacterial EVs are often called “Outer Membrane Vesicles” (OMVs) as they were the result of a controlled blebbing of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis). Bacterial EVs are natural messengers, implicated in intra- and inter-species cell-to-cell communication among microorganism populations present in microbiota. Bacteria can incorporate their pathogens into OMVs; the content of OMVs differs, depending on the type of bacteria. The production of distinct types of OMVs can be mediated by different factors and routes. A recent study highlighted OMVs ability to carry crucial molecules implicated in immune modulation, and, nowadays, they are considered as a way to communicate and transfer messages from the bacteria to the host and vice versa. This review article focuses on the current understanding of OMVs produced from major oral bacteria, P. gingivalis: generation, characteristics, and contents as well as the involvement in signal transduction of host cells and systemic diseases. Our recent study regarding the action of P. gingivalis OMVs in the living body is also summarized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-146
Number of pages9
JournalJapanese Dental Science Review
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Host cell interaction
  • In vivo imaging
  • Outer membrane vesicles
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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