Atherosclerosis in apoE knockout mice infected with multiple pathogens.

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Antibodies-Viral, Apolipoproteins-E, Arteriosclerosis, Chlamydophila-Infections, Chlamydophila-pneumoniae, DNA-Bacterial, DNA-Viral, Female, Herpesviridae-Infections, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Knockout, Muromegalovirus, Polymerase-Chain-Reaction

JAX Source

J Infect Dis 2001 Jan; 813(2):226-231.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Chlamydia pneumoniae (CP) possibly contribute to atherosclerosis. Murine CMV (MCMV) and CP increase lesion size in apoE knockout mice. In this study, apoE knockout mice were infected with MCMV and CP to determine whether infection with multiple pathogens increases lesion size to a greater extent than either pathogen alone and whether infection with MCMV changes serum cytokine levels in a manner that could increase lesion development. One group of mice received MCMV at 2 weeks of age, followed by 2 doses of CP at 6 and 8 weeks of age. Additional groups received only MCMV or CP. Animals were killed at 16 weeks of age to determine lesion area. Infection with MCMV alone, CP alone, and both MCMV and CP increased lesion size 84% (P<.001), 70% (P<.0001), and 45% (P<.01), respectively. The MCMV-induced increase in circulating levels of interferon-gamma may have contributed to this increase.