Background Recent epidemiologic evidence suggests that periodontal infection may increase the risk of atherosclerosis and acute thromboembolic events. The present study investigated the contribution of the major periodontal pathogen, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans (A.a.), on myocardial inflammation and injury after ischaemia-reperfusion (I/R).
Methods and Results Male C57Bl/6J mice were subjected to 30 min of coronary ligation, followed by 7 days of reperfusion. Either live A.a. (108 CFU) or saline was administered intravenously for 2 days before surgery. A.a.-challenged mice showed significantly larger infarction (53%±6%) compared with control mice (36%±3%) (p<0.05), given similar areas at risk (64%±6%; vs 63%±2%). A.a.-inoculated mice also exerted more interstitial fibrosis.
Conclusion Taken together, these data demonstrate that systemic challenge with A. Actinomycetemcomitans, a major periodontal pathogen, may exacerbate myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion injury.