Oral Health Group

Periodontitis as a risk factor of Atherosclerosis

November 9, 2015
by https://www.oralhealthgroup.com/MktgImages/AsnanPortal-image/201511100832100sjvfcc454rgkv0454qkib545.pngAsnan Portal Team

Atherosclerosis is defined as arterial walls becoming clogged up with fats, cholesterol and other substances, this build-up, forms plaques that can burst and trigger a blood clot.

Periodontitis is a common, progressive disease that affects the supporting structures of the teeth, causing loss of attachment to the bone and often resulting in tooth loss Porphyromonas gingivalis plays a major role in the development of periodontitis.

Previous studies have shown that P.gingivalis is present in coronary artery plaques of heart-attacked patients, moreover, animal studies have shown that it triggers and hastens atherosclerosis in the aorta that is the main artery from the heart to the rest of the body and coronary arteries. 

A team of researchers has shown that a periodontal pathogen causes changes in gene expression that boost inflammation and atherosclerosis in aortic smooth muscle cells.

Prof. Bengtsson and colleagues began by culturing human aortic smooth muscle cells and infecting them with P.gingivalis. The researchers found that it secretes enzymes called gingipains that alter the ratio between two angiopoietins – proteins involved in inflammation –in a way that boost expression of the pro-inflammatory angiopoietin 2, while dampening expression of the anti-inflammatory angiopoietin 1.

“Angiopoietin 2 directly increases the migration of aortic smooth muscle cells,” said first author Boxi Zhang, a PhD student in Bengtsson’s laboratory. “The migration of smooth muscle cells is involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.”

As with ginginpains, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a human-produced inflammatory cytokine and cardiovascular risk factor, also induces and promotes atherosclerosis via the two angiopoietins. However, their research showed that ginginpains operate independently from TNF, said Bengtsson.
“Our research clarifies the mechanism behind the association of periodontitis and cardiovascular disease” said Zhang. “Our aim is to find biomarkers that can help us diagnose and treat both diseases.”

The study, from Orebro University in Sweden, was published in the journal Infection and Immunity in 2015.

For more information, please visit: http://asnanportal.com/index.php/dental-report/news/869-periodontitis-as-a-risk-factor-of-atherosclerosis.