Background - Infectious diseases have emerged as potential risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Epidemiological studies support a connection between periodontal disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the supporting tissues of the teeth, and CVD. Methods and Results - To directly test the connection between periodontal disease and atherosclerosis, apoE-/- mice were orally challenged with the periodontal disease pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis or an invasion-impaired P gingivalis fimbriae-deficient mutant (FimA-). Both wild-type P gingivalis and the FimA- mutant were detected in blood and aortic arch tissue of apoE-/- mice by PCR after challenge. ApoE-/- mice challenged with wild-type P gingivalis presented with increased atherosclerotic plaque and expressed the innate immune response markers Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 and TLR-4 in aortic tissue. Despite detection of the FimA- mutant in the blood and in aortic arch tissue, apoE -/- mice challenged with the FimA- mutant did not present with periodontal disease, upregulation of TLRs, or accelerated atherosclerosis. Furthermore, we demonstrate that immunization to control P gingivalis-elicited periodontal disease concomitantly prevents P gingivalis-accelerated atherosclerosis. Conclusions - We conclude that invasive P gingivalis accelerates atherosclerosis.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 8 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine