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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 595981, 7 pages
Review Article

Periodontal Pathogens and Atherosclerosis: Implications of Inflammation and Oxidative Modification of LDL

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Nihon University School of Dentistry at Matsudo, Matsudo, Chiba 271-8587, Japan

Received 5 February 2014; Revised 7 April 2014; Accepted 28 April 2014; Published 18 May 2014

Academic Editor: Tomasz Guzik

Copyright © 2014 Tomoko Kurita-Ochiai and Masafumi Yamamoto. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Inflammation is well accepted to play a crucial role in the development of atherosclerotic lesions, and recent studies have demonstrated an association between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, causative agents of destructive chronic inflammation in the periodontium, can accelerate atheroma deposition in animal models. Emerging evidence suggests that vaccination against virulence factors of these pathogens and anti-inflammatory therapy may confer disease resistance. In this review, we focus on the role of inflammatory mechanisms and oxidative modification in the formation and activation of atherosclerotic plaques accelerated by P. gingivalis or A. actinomycetemcomitans in an ApoE-deficient mouse model and high-fat-diet-fed mice. Furthermore, we examine whether mucosal vaccination with a periodontal pathogen or the anti-inflammatory activity of catechins can reduce periodontal pathogen-accelerated atherosclerosis.