Resolvin E1 (RvE1) Attenuates Atherosclerotic Plaque Formation in Diet and Inflammation-Induced Atherogenesis

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Epidemiological and recent clinical studies implicate periodontitis as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Previously, we demonstrated that rabbits with experimental periodontitis and cholesterol diet exhibit more aortic plaque compared with diet alone. We also showed that a proresolution mediator, Resolvin E1 (RvE1), reverses the experimental periodontitis. Here, we determined whether oral/topical application of RvE1 attenuates aortic atherosclerosis induced by both diet and periodontal inflammation.

Approach and Results—

Thirty-nine rabbits on a 13-week regimen of 0.5% cholesterol diet were included. Periodontitis was induced by Porphyromonas gingivalis in 24 rabbits and 15 rabbits were placed in no-periodontitis groups. Interventions were no-treatment, vehicle, and RvE1 treatment (4 μg/site or 0.4 μg/site) topically applied 3× per week. At 13 weeks, both periodontitis and atherosclerosis were quantified. Atherosclerotic plaques were assessed by Sudan IV staining, histology, and ex vivo MRI. Serum levels of C-reactive protein were evaluated as a measure of systemic inflammation. RvE1, used as an oral/topical agent, significantly diminished atherogenesis and prevented periodontitis (P<0.05). In the absence of periodontal inflammation, oral/topical application of RvE1 resulted in significantly less arterial plaque, a lower intima/media ratio, and decreased inflammatory cell infiltration compared with no-treatment (P<0.001). Local oral RvE1 application significantly reduced systemic levels of C-reactive protein (P<0.05).


The results suggest that oral/topical RvE1 attenuates enhanced atherogenesis induced by periodontitis and prevents vascular inflammation and atherogenesis in the absence of periodontitis. The inhibition of vascular inflammation with endogenous mediators of resolution of inflammation provides a novel approach in the prevention of atherogenic events.

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