Tannerella forsythiaBspA increases the risk factors for atherosclerosis in ApoE−/− mice

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OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects ofTannerella forsythiaand its major surface virulence factor, BspA, on the progression of atherosclerosis in ApoE−/− mice and the expression of lipid metabolism-related genes.METHODS:PMA-differentiated THP-1 cells were treated with BspA to detect foam cell formation. The proximal aortas of ApoE−/− mice injected withT. forsythiaor BspA were stained with oil red O to examine lipid deposition. The serum levels of CRP, HDL, and LDL were detected by ELISA. The liver tissue ofT. forsythia- or BspA-injected ApoE−/− mice was examined for mRNA expression of lipid metabolism-related genes, such as liver X receptors (LXRαandLXRβ) and ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1).RESULTS:Tannerella forsythiaand BspA induced foam cell formation in THP-1 cells and accelerated the progression of atherosclerotic lesions in ApoE−/− mice. Mouse serum levels of CRP and LDL were increased, and HDL was decreased byT. forsythiaand BspA. The expression levels ofLXRαandLXRβ, andABCA1in liver tissue were decreased byT. forsythiaand BspA.CONCLUSIONS:Tannerella forsythiaand BspA augmented atherosclerotic lesion progression in ApoE−/− mice. This process may be associated with downregulation of lipid metabolism-related gene expression.

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