A research group including the Graduate University for Advanced Studies analyzed dental tartar collected from ancient human bones from the Okhotsk culture period more than 1000 years ago and identified ancient proteins derived from humans and oral bacteria. Other researchers participating in the study include Okayama University, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Kanazawa University, the University of Tokyo, Ryukyu University Graduate School, and Sapporo Medical University.

 Periodontal disease is the main cause of tooth loss in modern people. In fact, research has revealed that people who lived on the Japanese archipelago in the past also suffered from periodontal disease. However, it is unclear what kind of oral bacteria it was. In this study, we collected dental calculus from a human bone of a woman dating back more than 1000 years, dating from the Okhotsk culture period, excavated from Rebun Island in Hokkaido, and performed proteomics using mass spectrometry.

 As a result, 15 types of proteins derived from oral bacteria were identified. Of particular note, the team was also able to identify proteins derived from some of the bacteria known as the Red Complex, which is a known cause of modern periodontal disease. They also identified proteins derived from oral bacteria that are known to be associated with periodontal disease in modern humans. Antibacterial peptides and immune response proteins in saliva were also identified as human-derived proteins.

 The information obtained from dental calculus provides valuable information for elucidating the health conditions and life histories of people who lived in the past. As research progresses in the future to examine the reality of diseases in the past, it will become clear how bacteria that coexisted with humans have evolved over time, and it may be possible to elucidate the origins and evolutionary causes of diseases that plague modern humans. It is said that there is also a gender.

Paper information:[Scientific Reports] Palaeoproteomic investigation of an ancient human skeleton with abnormal deposition of dental calculus

Tokyo University

Established in the 10th year of the Meiji era.A university with the longest history in Japan and at the forefront of Japanese knowledge

The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 (Meiji 10) by integrating the Tokyo Kaisei School and the Tokyo Medical School.Since its establishment, it has developed education and research in a unique way in the world as a leading university in Japan and an academic center for the fusion of East and West cultures.As a result, many human resources have been produced in a wide range of fields, and many research achievements […]

Kanazawa University

An education-focused research university open to the local community and the world

Kanazawa University, which has a history of over 160 years as a core comprehensive university on the Japan Sea coast, is accelerating its challenging efforts as a world-leading international education and research center. The university has established the "Kanazawa University Global Standard (KUGS)" as the skills that students should acquire by the time of graduation, and is promoting human […]

Okayama University

Promote the creation of an environment and system that can fly as a practitioner who can play an active role globally

A national university that has celebrated its 150th anniversary and has 10 faculties, 7 graduate schools, 1 program, and 4 research institutes. Based on the results of advanced research activities, we cultivate the ability for students to independently participate in the creation of knowledge, and foster a rich sense of humanity through close dialogue and discussion among students and with faculty and staff. We support domestic and international […]

University of the Ryukyus

Acquire specialized knowledge and skills through a variety of learning. Established 7 faculties, 9 departments, and 7 centers

It is the only national university in Okinawa prefecture and is the southernmost and westernmost university in Japan.We will ensure the quality of education and develop human resources who can play an active role and contribute to the world by utilizing advanced expertise and problem-seeking ability based on a wide range of education.Fostering wisdom and setting an example for society by fully drawing out diverse personalities and talents and opening up a new era […]

Sapporo Medical University

A world-leading medical university that combines tradition and achievements

Opened in 1950 as Hokkaido Medical University.For a long period of more than half a century, we have fostered medical personnel with rich humanity and have greatly contributed to the improvement of health, medical care, and welfare in Hokkaido.Currently, in response to the diversifying development of medicine and medical care, the medical school that is training clinical abilities and techniques and people's health are living […]

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