Abstract

The relationship between autophagy and immunity has been thoroughly investigated. However, little is known about the role of autophagy in shaping the immune-microenvironment of periodontitis. Thus, we aim to explore the impact of autophagy on the immune-microenvironment of periodontitis. The expression distinctions of autophagy genes between healthy and periodontitis samples have been investigated. The connections between autophagy and immune characteristics including infiltrating immunocyte, immune reaction and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene were evaluated. The distinct autophagy-mediated expression patterns were identified and immune characteristics under distinct patterns were revealed. Autophagy phenotype-related genes were identified. 16 autophagy genes were dysregulated and a ten-autophagy classifier was constructed that can well distinguish periodontitis and healthy samples. Immune characteristics were closely related to autophagy: higher expression of EDEM1 positively relates to infiltrating activated B cell; NCKAP1 negatively relates to monocyte; CXCR4 enhances BCR Signaling Pathway and PEX3 decreases the activity of TNF Family Members Receptors; positive expression correlation of EDEM1-HLADOB and negative correlation of RAB11A-HLADOB were observed. Two distinct autophagy expression patterns were identified which demonstrated different immune characteristics. 4309 autophagy phenotype-related genes were identified, and 219 of them were related to immunity, whose biological functions were found to be involved in immunocyte regulations. Our study revealed the strong impact of autophagy on the immune-microenvironment of periodontitis and brought new insights into the understanding of the pathogenesis of periodontitis.