Acute Chlamydia pneumoniae infection causes coronary endothelial dysfunction in pigs.

Petru Liuba, Erkki Pesonen, Ilari Paakkari, Satish Batra, Anders Forslid, Petri Kovanen, Markku Pentikäinen, Kenneth Persson, Staffan Sandström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Coronary endothelial dysfunction contributes to the pathogenesis of acute coronary syndromes (ACSs). Acute Chlamydia pneumoniae infection has been epidemiologically associated with ACS. In this study, we investigated whether acute C. pneumoniae infection could alter the endothelial vasomotor function of porcine coronary vessels. Methods and results: Twenty pigs, 7–9 kg in weight, were inoculated intratracheally with C. pneumoniae (n=12) or saline (n=8), and investigated at 3 days (five infected/four non-infected) and 2 weeks (5+2 infected/four non-infected) after inoculation. The endothelium-dependent reactivity of coronary microcirculation was assessed at both time points by measuring peak coronary flow velocity (CFV) in response to bradykinin, before and after infusions with glutathione, an antioxidant, and Image-arginine, a substrate for nitric oxide synthase (NOS). CFV after bradykinin was significantly decreased in infected animals at both time points. At 2 weeks, both glutathione and Image-arginine significantly improved CFV after bradykinin. CFV after sodium nitroprusside (SNP) was similar in both groups. At 3 days, the relaxation responses of bradykinin-induced pre-contracted left anterior descending (LAD) coronary rings to bradykinin were significantly less in infected animals. NG-nitro-Image-arginine-methyl-ester, an NOS inhibitor, had significantly greater inhibitory effect on bradykinin-induced relaxation in infected animals. Plasma nitrate–nitrite and fibrinogen, and NOS activity from LAD coronary samples were significantly increased in infected animals. Conclusion: Acute C. pneumoniae infection causes endothelial dysfunction of both resistance and epicardial coronary vessels, and favours a pro-coagulant status. These effects could in part account for the epidemiologically suggested association between acute infection and ACS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-222
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Paediatrics (Lund) (013002000), Cell and Matrix Biology (LUR000002), Diagnostic Radiology, (Lund) (013038000), Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Lund) (013018000), Clinical Microbiology, Malmö (013011000), Lab Animal Science (013100004)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems

Free keywords

  • Acute infection
  • Endothelium
  • Coronary
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae


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