J. CATALDO1, D.J. DE LUCA1, N. BISSADA1, E. ROBINSON1, E. BALRAJ2, S. NELSON1, and A. WEINBERG1, 1Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA, 2Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office, Cleveland, OH, USA
J. CATALDO1, D.J. DE LUCA1, N. BISSADA1, E. ROBINSON1, E. BALRAJ2, S. NELSON1, and A. WEINBERG1, 1Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA, 2Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office, Cleveland, OH, USA
Periodontal disease has been implicated as a risk factor in atherosclerosis, and P. gingivalis (Pg) has been detected in arterial atheromas. Objective: To test ifPg DNA is present in atheromatous and non-atheromatous sites of coronary arteries (CA). Methods: 23 CA and 23 renal arteries (RA) were harvested postmortem. 14 CA were atheromatous, 9 were not, and all RAs were visually atheroma-free. Dental plaque (DP) was pooled from six teeth of each subject. Atheromatous and normal CA and RA portions were excised and, with matched DP samples, were subjected to PCR amplification using specific primers to 16S rRNA of Pg or Chlamydia pneumoniae (Cp). Contamination controls (CC) included swabs of autopsy instruments and bench tops. Results: Pg was positive in 8 of 23 normal CA samples (35%), as well as in 4 of 14 (29%) coronary artery atheromas. In 3 cases where Pg was found in CA atheromas, it was also found in adjacent normal sites of the same vessel. 4 of 23 RA sites harbored Pg (17%). DP was positive for Pg in 5 of 23 specimens (22%). 3 subjects with Pg positive DP, also harbored Pg DNA in respective normal CA sites. One of these also had Pg in the RA. Cp was not found in any specimen tested and CC were negative to Pg and Cp DNA. Conclusion: The in vivo presence of Pg in non-atheromatous coronary sites suggests that this periopathogen can actively invade arterial intima rather than be coincidently trapped by an existing atheroma. Pg therefore, may play a role in infectious events, culminating in the development of an atheromatous lesion. Funded by Research Infrastructure grant & School of Dentistry funds, CWRU.