Objective: Porphyromonas gingivalis infection is thought to be a significant etiological factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases. However, scant definitive evidence has been presented concerning the pathological molecular mechanisms of these disorders. In the present study, we performed a molecular analysis of the developmental mechanisms of aortic intimal hyperplasia induced by P. gingivalis. Material and Methods: The effects of P. gingivalis-induced bacteremia on intimal hyperplasia were evaluated using a mouse model of aortic hyperplasia created by photochemical-induced endothelial cell injury. Alterations of gene expression profiles in injured blood vessels of the mice were extensively analyzed using DNA microarray assays to identify the key molecules involved in P. gingivalis-induced hyperplasia. In addition, human aneurismal specimens from patients with or without P. gingivalis infection were analyzed histochemically. Results: Intravenous administration of P. gingivalis dramatically induced intimal hyperplasia in the mouse model. Concomitantly, S100 calcium-binding protein A9 (S100A9) and embryonic isoform of myosin heavy chain (SMemb), a proliferative phenotypic marker of smooth muscle cells, were significantly overexpressed on the surfaces of smooth muscle cells present in the injured blood vessels. Similarly, increased expressions of S100A9 and SMemb proteins were observed in aneurismal specimens obtained from P. gingivalis-infected patients. Conclusion: We found that bacteremia induced by P. gingivalis leads to intimal hyperplasia associated with overexpressions of S100A9 and SMemb. Our results strongly suggest that oral-hematogenous spreading of P. gingivalis is a causative event in the development of aortic hyperplasia in periodontitis patients.
- Porphyromonas gingivalis
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