• atherosclerosis;
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis ;
  • epigallocatechin-3-gallate;
  • apolipoprotein E knockout mice;
  • inflammation;
  • oxidation


The purpose of this study was to determine whether epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) ameliorates Porphyromonas gingivalis-induced atherosclerosis. EGCG is a polyphenol extract from green tea with health benefits and P. gingivalis is shown here to accelerate atheroma formation in a murine model. Apolipoprotein E knockout mice were administered EGCG or vehicle in drinking water; they were then fed high-fat diets and injected with P. gingivalis three times a week for 3 weeks. Mice were then killed at 15 weeks. Atherosclerotic plaques in the proximal aorta were determined by Oil Red O staining. Atherosclerosis risk factors in serum, liver or aorta were analysed using cytokine antibody arrays, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and real-time PCR. Atherosclerotic lesion areas of the aortic sinus caused by P. gingivalis infection decreased in EGCG-treated groups, wherein EGCG reduced the production of C-reactive protein, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and slightly lowered LDL/very LDL cholesterol in P. gingivalis-challenged mice serum. Furthermore, the increase in CCL2, MMP-9, ICAM-1, HSP60, CD44, LOX-1, NOX-4, p22phox and iNOS gene expression levels in the aorta of P. gingivalis-challenged mice were reduced in EGCG-treated mice. However, HO-1 mRNA levels were elevated by EGCG treatment, suggesting that EGCG, as a natural substance, inhibits P. gingivalis-induced atherosclerosis through anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects.