Chlamydia pneumoniae induces neointima formation in coronary arteries of normal pigs

Sorin V. Pislaru, Marc Van Ranst, Cristina Pislaru, Zsolt Szelid, Gregor Theilmeier, J. M. Ossewaarde, Paul Holvoet, Stefan Janssens, Erik Verbeken, Frans J. Van De Werf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objectives: We evaluated the role of intracoronary, intrapulmonary and macrophage-mediated delivery of C. pneumoniae (Cp) on coronary lesion formation. Methods: Pigs were allocated to one of three coronary protocols (intracoronary, macrophage or control groups) or to a fourth - a pulmonary group. In the intracoronary group Cp was injected into the wall of the left anterior descending (LAD) and right coronary arteries (RCA) and vehicle into the circumflex (CX). In the macrophage group autologous macrophages preincubated with Cp or not were injected into the LAD and CX wall, respectively. Animals in the control group received vehicle in LAD and CX. In the pulmonary group aerosolised Cp was given intrabronchially, after a single injection of vehicle into the LAD wall. Delivery into the coronary artery wall was performed with a balloon catheter with low-profile injector ports. Results: Seroconversion occurred in the following proportions: 5/6 (intracoronary group), 4/5 (macrophage group), 0/6 (control group), and 1/6 (intrapulmonary group). Significantly higher maximal intimal thickness (MIT) was observed in LADs of intracoronary and pulmonary groups when compared to corresponding CXs. The presence of Cp antigen was associated with higher MIT (r=0.73; P<0.0001). Injection of macrophages into the coronary artery wall did not induce proliferation. Arteries without coronary interventions were morphologically normal. Conclusions: Intracoronary and intrapulmonary but not macrophage-mediated Cp inoculation were associated with moderate intimal proliferation in the absence of a lipid-rich diet. Pre-existing coronary lesions seem a prerequisite for Cp-induced proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-842
Number of pages9
JournalCardiovascular research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary disease
  • Infection/inflammation
  • Macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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