Porphyromonas gingivalis-dendritic cell interactions: Consequences for coronary artery disease

Amir E. Zeituni, Julio Carrion, Christopher W. Cutler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


An estimated 80 million US adults have one or more types of cardiovascular diseases. Atherosclerosis is the single most important contributor to cardiovascular diseases; however, only 50% of atherosclerosis patients have currently identified risk factors. Chronic periodontitis, a common inflammatory disease, is linked to an increased cardiovascular risk. Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen presenting cells that infiltrate arterial walls and may destabilize atherosclerotic plaques in cardiovascular disease. While the source of these DCs in atherosclerotic plaques is presently unclear, we propose that dermal DCs from peripheral inflamed sites such as CP tissues are a potential source. This review will examine the role of the opportunistic oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis in invading DCs and stimulating their mobilization and misdirection through the bloodstream. Based on our published observations, combined with some new data, as well as a focused review of the literature we will propose a model for how P. gingivalis may exploit DCs to gain access to systemic circulation and contribute to coronary artery disease. Our published evidence supports a significant role for P. gingivalis in subverting normal DC function, promoting a semimature, highly migratory, and immunosuppressive DC phenotype that contributes to the inflammatory development of atherosclerosis and, eventually, plaque rupture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5782
JournalJournal of Oral Microbiology
Issue number2010
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Dc-sign
  • Dendritic cells
  • Periodontitis
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry (miscellaneous)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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