Porphyromonas gingivalis accelerates inflammatory atherosclerosis in the innominate artery of ApoE deficient mice.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:Studies in humans support a role for the oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis in the development of inflammatory atherosclerosis. The goal of this study was to determine if P. gingivalis infection accelerates inflammation and atherosclerosis in the innominate artery of mice, an artery which has been reported to exhibit many features of human atherosclerotic disease, including plaque rupture. METHODS AND RESULTS:Apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE-/-) mice were orally infected with P. gingivalis, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to monitor the progression of atherosclerosis in live mice. P. gingivalis infected mice exhibited a statistically significant increase in atherosclerotic plaque in the innominate artery as compared to uninfected mice. Polarized light microscopy and immunohistochemistry revealed that the innominate arteries of infected mice had increased lipids, macrophages and T cells as compared to uninfected mice. Increases in plaque, total cholesterol esters and cholesterol monohydrate crystals, macrophages, and T cells were prevented by immunization with heat-killed P. gingivalis prior to pathogen exposure. CONCLUSIONS:These are the first studies to demonstrate progression of inflammatory plaque accumulation in the innominate arteries by in vivo MRI analysis following pathogen exposure, and to document protection from plaque progression in the innominate artery via immunization.
Project description:Mounting evidence in humans supports an etiological role for the microbiota in inflammatory atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease characterized by accumulation of inflammatory cells and lipids in vascular tissue. While retention of lipoprotein into the sub-endothelial vascular layer is believed to be the initiating stimulus leading to the development of atherosclerosis, activation of multiple pathways related to vascular inflammation and endothelial dysfunction sustain the process by stimulating recruitment of leukocytes and immune cells into the sub-endothelial layer. The Gram-negative oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis has been associated with the development and acceleration of atherosclerosis in humans and these observations have been validated in animal models. It has been proposed that common mechanisms of immune signaling link stimulation by lipids and pathogens to vascular inflammation. Despite the common outcome of P. gingivalis and lipid feeding on atherosclerosis progression, we established that these pro-atherogenic stimuli induced distinct gene signatures in the ApoE-/- mouse model of atherosclerosis. In this study, we further defined the distinct roles of dietary lipids and P. gingivalis infection on atherosclerosis progression and the gut microbiota. We demonstrate that diet-induced lipid lowering resulted in less atherosclerotic plaque in ApoE-/- mice compared to ApoE-/- mice continuously fed a Western diet. However, the effect of diet-induced lipid lowering on plaque accumulation was blunted by P. gingivalis infection. Using principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering, we demonstrate that dietary intervention as well as P. gingivalis infection result in distinct bacterial communities in fecal and cecal samples of ApoE-/- mice as compared to ApoE-/- mice continuously fed either a Western diet or a normal chow diet. Collectively, we identified distinct microbiota changes accompanying atherosclerotic plaque, suggesting a future avenue for investigation on the impact of the gut microbiota, diet, and P. gingivalis infection on atherosclerosis.
Project description:The proinflammatory cytokine S100A12 is associated with coronary atherosclerotic plaque rupture. We previously generated transgenic mice with vascular smooth muscle-targeted expression of human S100A12 and found that these mice developed aortic aneurysmal dilation of the thoracic aorta. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that S100A12 expressed in vascular smooth muscle in atherosclerosis-prone apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-null mice would accelerate atherosclerosis.ApoE-null mice with or without the S100A12 transgene were analyzed. We found a 1.4-fold increase in atherosclerotic plaque size and more specifically a large increase in calcified plaque area (45% versus 7% of innominate artery plaques and 18% versus 10% of aortic root plaques) in S100A12/ApoE-null mice compared with wild-type/ApoE-null littermates. Expression of bone morphogenic protein and other osteoblastic genes was increased in aorta and cultured vascular smooth muscle, and importantly, these changes in gene expression preceded the development of vascular calcification in S100A12/ApoE-null mice. Accelerated atherosclerosis and vascular calcification were mediated, at least in part, by oxidative stress because inhibition of NADPH oxidase attenuated S100A12-mediated osteogenesis in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells. S100A12 transgenic mice in the wild-type background (ApoE+/+) showed minimal vascular calcification, suggesting that S100A12 requires a proinflammatory/proatherosclerotic environment to induce osteoblastic differentiation and vascular calcification.Vascular smooth muscle S100A12 accelerates atherosclerosis and augments atherosclerosis-triggered osteogenesis, reminiscent of features associated with plaque instability.
Project description:Atherosclerotic vascular disease is a leading cause of myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accident, and independent associations with periodontal disease (PD) are reported. PD is caused by polymicrobial infections and aggressive immune responses. Genomic DNA of Porphyromonas gingivalis, the best-studied bacterial pathogen associated with severe PD, is detected within atherosclerotic plaque. We examined causal relationships between chronic P. gingivalis oral infection, PD, and atherosclerosis in hyperlipidemic ApoEnull mice. ApoEnull mice (n?=?24) were orally infected with P. gingivalis for 12 and 24 weeks. PD was assessed by standard clinical measurements while the aorta was examined for atherosclerotic lesions and inflammatory markers by array. Systemic inflammatory markers serum amyloid A, nitric oxide, and oxidized low-density lipoprotein were analyzed. P. gingivalis infection elicited specific antibodies and alveolar bone loss. Fluorescent in situ hybridization detected viable P. gingivalis within oral epithelium and aorta, and genomic DNA was detected within systemic organs. Aortic plaque area was significantly increased in P. gingivalis-infected mice at 24 weeks (P<0.01). Aortic RNA and protein arrays indicated a strong Th2 response. Chronic oral infection with P. gingivalis results in a specific immune response, significant increases in oral bone resorption, aortic inflammation, viable bacteria in oral epithelium and aorta, and plaque development.
Project description:We sought to determine the genetic factors contributing to atherosclerotic plaque size and cellular composition in the innominate artery, a murine model of advanced atherosclerosis.We examined genetic contributions to innominate atherosclerotic plaque size and cellular composition in an intercross between C57BL/6J.Apoe(-/-), a strain susceptible to aortic lesions, and C3H/HeJ.Apoe(-/-), a strain resistant to aortic lesions. Surprisingly, total innominate lesion size was similar in the two strains. Genetic analyses identified one novel locus on Chromosome 2 for innominate artery lesion size, a significant locus for fibrous cap thickness on Chromosome 15, and several suggestive loci for cellular composition, all distinct from loci influencing aortic lesions. The Chromosome 2 locus contains a candidate, CD44. We show that CD44 is expressed in the innominate artery and differs strikingly in expression between the parental strains.Multiple aspects of innominate lesion composition are genetically determined, but in a manner largely independent of the genetic contributions to aortic lesions.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Fibronectin containing extra domain A (Fn-EDA) is an endogenous ligand of TLR4 (toll-like receptor 4) and is abundant in the extracellular matrix of advanced atherosclerotic lesions in human and mice. Irrespective of sex, deletion of Fn-EDA reduces early atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe-/-) mice. However, the contribution of Fn-EDA in advanced atherosclerosis remains poorly characterized. We determined the contribution of Fn-EDA in advanced atherosclerotic lesions of aged (1-year-old) Apoe-/- mice. APPROACH AND RESULTS:Plaque composition was determined in the innominate artery, a plaque instability site that is known to mimic several histological features of vulnerable human plaques. Female Apoe-/-, Fn-EDA-/-Apoe-/-, TLR4-/-Apoe-/-, and Fn-EDA-/-TLR4-/-Apoe-/- mice were fed a high-fat Western diet for 44 weeks. Fn-EDA-/-Apoe-/- mice exhibited reduced plaque size characterized by smaller necrotic cores, thick fibrous caps containing abundant vascular smooth muscle cells and collagen, reduced CD68/MMP9 (matrix metalloproteinase 9)-positive content, less accumulation of MMP-cleaved extracellular matrix aggrecan, and decreased vascular smooth muscle cell and macrophage apoptosis (P<0.05 versus Apoe-/- mice). Together these findings suggest that Fn-EDA induces plaque destabilization. Deletion of TLR4 reduced histological features of plaque instability in Apoe-/- mice but did not further reduce features of plaque destabilization in Fn-EDA-/-Apoe-/- mice, suggesting that TLR4 may contribute to Fn-EDA-induced plaque destabilization. Fn-EDA potentiated TLR4-dependent MMP9 expression in bone marrow-derived macrophages, suggesting that macrophage TLR4 may contribute to Fn-EDA-mediated plaque instability. CONCLUSIONS:Fn-EDA induces histological features of plaque instability in established lesions of aged Apoe-/- mice. The abundance of Fn-EDA in advanced atherosclerotic lesions may increase the risk of plaque destabilization.
Project description:Intravital multiphoton imaging of arteries is technically challenging because the artery expands with every heartbeat, causing severe motion artifacts. To study leukocyte activity in atherosclerosis, we developed the intravital live cell triggered imaging system (ILTIS). This system implements cardiac triggered acquisition as well as frame selection and image registration algorithms to produce stable movies of myeloid cell movement in atherosclerotic arteries in live mice. To minimize tissue damage, no mechanical stabilization is used and the artery is allowed to expand freely. ILTIS performs multicolor high frame-rate two-dimensional imaging and full-thickness three-dimensional imaging of beating arteries in live mice. The external carotid artery and its branches (superior thyroid and ascending pharyngeal arteries) were developed as a surgically accessible and reliable model of atherosclerosis. We use ILTIS to demonstrate Cx3cr1GFP monocytes patrolling the lumen of atherosclerotic arteries. Additionally, we developed a new reporter mouse (Apoe?/?Cx3cr1GFP/+Cd11cYFP) to image GFP+ and GFP+YFP + macrophages “dancing on the spot” and YFP+ macrophages migrating within intimal plaque. ILTIS will be helpful to answer pertinent open questions in the field, including monocyte recruitment and transmigration, macrophage and dendritic cell activity, and motion of other immune cells.
Project description:AIMS:The goal of this study was to determine whether the A1 adenosine receptor (AR) plays a role in atherosclerosis development and to explore its potential mechanisms. METHODS AND RESULTS:Double knockout (DKO) mice, deficient in the genes encoding A1 AR and apolipoprotein E (apoE), demonstrated reduced atherosclerotic lesions in aortic arch (en face), aortic root, and innominate arteries when compared with apoE-deficient mice (APOE-KO) of the same age. Treating APOE-KO with an A1 AR antagonist (DPCPX) also led to a concentration-dependent reduction in lesions. The total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels were not different between DKO and APOE-KO; however, higher triglyceride was observed in DKO fed a high-fat diet. DKO also had higher body weights than APOE-KO. Plasma cytokine concentrations (IL-5, IL-6, and IL-13) were significantly lower in DKO. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression was also significantly reduced in the aorta from DKO. Despite smaller lesions in DKO, the composition of the innominate artery lesion and cholesterol loading and efflux from bone marrow-derived macrophages of DKO were not different from APOE-KO. CONCLUSION:The A1 AR may play a role in the development of atherosclerosis, possibly due to its pro-inflammatory and mitogenic properties.
Project description:Lower extremity peripheral artery disease has become a significant health burden worldwide. Since the treatment strategies can be different if atherosclerotic disease involves different femoral artery segments, it is important to assess plaque distribution among different segments of femoral arteries. We sought to investigate the longitudinal distribution of subclinical femoral artery atherosclerosis in asymptomatic elderly adults using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) vessel wall imaging.Asymptomatic elderly subjects underwent three-dimensional (3D) CMR vessel wall imaging for femoral arteries. The 3D motion sensitized-driven equilibrium prepared rapid gradient-echo (3D-MERGE) sequence was acquired from the common femoral artery to the popliteal artery. The femoral artery was divided into 4 segments: common femoral artery (CFA), proximal superficial femoral artery (pSFA), adductor canal (AC) segment of femoral artery, and popliteal artery (PA). The morphological characteristics including lumen area, wall area, maximum and minimum wall thickness, normalized wall index (NWI?=?wall area / [lumen area?+?wall area]?×?100%), and eccentricity index ([maximum wall thickness - minimum wall thickness] / maximum wall thickness), luminal stenosis, and presence of atherosclerotic plaque were evaluated and compared between bilateral sides and among different femoral artery segments in each side of femoral artery. The associations between ankle-brachial index (ABI) and cardiovascular risk factors and femoral artery plaque characteristics were also determined.Of 107 recruited subjects (71.9?±?5.6 years; 48 males), 70 (65.4%) were found to have femoral artery plaques. The atherosclerotic plaques were most frequently found in PA (41.1%) and CFA (40.2%) segments, followed by pSFA (31.8%) and AC (23.4%) segments (p?=?0.002). Similarly, PA and CFA segments showed significantly greater maximum wall thickness and eccentricity index compared with pSFA and AC segments (all p?<?0.001). Significant differences can be found in NWI among four segments of femoral arteries (p?<?0.001) and PA showed the highest NWI (54.8%), followed by AC (54.3%), pSFA (52.4%) and CFA (45.9%) segments. Compared with right femoral artery, left femoral artery had significant smaller lumen area and greater NWI in most of segments (p?<?0.002). There were no significant differences in ABI between subjects with and without atherosclerotic plaques (p?=?0.161). The presence of subclinical atherosclerotic plaque in femoral arteries was significantly associated with cardiovascular risk factors including age (odds ratio [OR], 1.133; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.048-1.224, p?=?0.002), male gender (OR, 3.914; 95% CI, 1.612-9.501, p?=?0.003), and hypertension (OR, 4.000; 95% CI, 1.700-9.411, p?=?0.001), respectively.Subclinical femoral artery atherosclerosis is prevalent in the elderly population, particularly in the left femoral artery and segments of CFA and PA, and is associated with age, male gender and hypertension. Our findings suggest that, for screening subclinical atherosclerosis, more attention needs to be paid to the specific side and segments of femoral arteries, particularly older individuals and those with these cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Project description:Periodontal disease (PD) and atherosclerosis are both polymicrobial and multifactorial and although observational studies supported the association, the causative relationship between these two diseases is not yet established. Polymicrobial infection-induced periodontal disease is postulated to accelerate atherosclerotic plaque growth by enhancing atherosclerotic risk factors of orally infected Apolipoprotein E deficient (ApoE(null)) mice. At 16 weeks of infection, samples of blood, mandible, maxilla, aorta, heart, spleen, and liver were collected, analyzed for bacterial genomic DNA, immune response, inflammation, alveolar bone loss, serum inflammatory marker, atherosclerosis risk factors, and aortic atherosclerosis. PCR analysis of polymicrobial-infected (Porphyromonas gingivalis [P. gingivalis], Treponema denticola [T. denticola], and Tannerella forsythia [T. forsythia]) mice resulted in detection of bacterial genomic DNA in oral plaque samples indicating colonization of the oral cavity by all three species. Fluorescent in situ hybridization detected P. gingivalis and T. denticola within gingival tissues of infected mice and morphometric analysis showed an increase in palatal alveolar bone loss (p<0.0001) and intrabony defects suggesting development of periodontal disease in this model. Polymicrobial-infected mice also showed an increase in aortic plaque area (p<0.05) with macrophage accumulation, enhanced serum amyloid A, and increased serum cholesterol and triglycerides. A systemic infection was indicated by the detection of bacterial genomic DNA in the aorta and liver of infected mice and elevated levels of bacterial specific IgG antibodies (p<0.0001). This study was a unique effort to understand the effects of a polymicrobial infection with P. gingivalis, T. denticola and T. forsythia on periodontal disease and associated atherosclerosis in ApoE(null) mice.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Vasa vasorum (VV) have been believed to be rare or non-existent in small-caliber intracranial arteries. In a series of human cerebral artery specimens, we identified and examined the distribution of VV in association with co-existing intracranial atherosclerosis. METHODS:We obtained cerebral artery specimens from 32 consecutive autopsies of subjects aged 45 years or above. We scrutinized middle cerebral artery (MCA), vertebral artery (VA), and basilar artery (BA) for the presence of adventitial VV. We described the distribution of VV, and the characteristics of co-existing atherosclerotic lesions. RESULTS:Among 157 intracranial arteries, adventitial VV were present in 74 of the 157 specimens (47%), involving MCA (n=13, 18%), BA (n=14, 19%), and VA (n=47, 64%). Although qualitatively these 74 adventitial VV distributed similarly in arteries with or without atherosclerotic lesions (disease-free arteries n=4/8; arteries of pre-atherosclerosis n=17/42; and arteries of progressive atherosclerosis n=53/107), the presence of adventitial VV in intracranial VA was associated with a heavier plaque load (1.72±1.66 mm2 vs. 0.40±0.32 mm2, P<0.001), severer luminal stenosis (25%±21% vs. 12%±9%, P=0.002), higher rate of concentric lesions (79% vs. 36%, P=0.002), and denser intraplaque calcification (44% vs. 0%, P=0.003). Histologically, intracranial VA with VV had a larger diameter (3.40±0.79 mm vs. 2.34±0.58 mm, P<0.001), thicker arterial wall (0.31±0.13 mm vs. 0.23±0.06 mm, P=0.002), and a larger intima-media (0.19±0.09 mm vs. 0.13± 0.04 mm, P=0.003) than VA without VV. CONCLUSION:s Our study demonstrated the distribution of adventitial VV within brain vasculature and association between vertebral VV and progressive atherosclerotic lesions with a heavier plaque load and denser intraplaque calcification.