Porphyromonas gingivalis accelerates atherosclerosis in C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat diet

Asuka Fukasawa, Tomoko Kurita-Ochiai, Tomomi Hashizume, Ryoki Kobayashi, Yoshiaki Akimoto, Masafumi Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Porphyromonas gingivalis has been shown to accelerate atherosclerotic lesion development in atherosclerotic apo E-deficient mice. Here, we investigated whether repeated P. gingivalis injection affected the inflammatory and atherosclerotic responses of C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Materials and methods: Eight-week-old C57BL/6 mice fed either HFD or a regular chow diet (RD) were inoculated intravenously with P. gingivalis or phosphate-buffered saline three times per week for 10 weeks and sacrificed at 19 weeks of age. Atheromatous lesions in the proximal aorta of each animal were analyzed histomorphometrically, and the serum cytokine and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were determined. Results: Long-term HFD feeding as compared to RD feeding led to a slight increase in atheromatous lesions in the aortic sinus as well as increases in the levels of serum monocyte chemoattractant protein 1. Further, P. gingivalis injection significantly enhanced the formation of atherosclerotic plaque, and increased CRP and inflammatory cytokine levels, in mice fed the HFD, although no further increase in LDL was observed. Conclusion: These results suggest that bacteremia-induced by repeated injection with P. gingivalis accelerates atherosclerosis in normal C57BL/6 mice by initiating inflammation, and is therefore implicated in chronic infection-related pathogenicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-476
Number of pages7
JournalImmunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • C-reactive protein
  • Inflammatory cytokine
  • Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • Periodontal disease
  • Periodontopathic bacteria


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