Chlamydia pneumoniae infection accelerates hyperlipidemia induced atherosclerotic lesion development in C57BL/6J mice

Atherosclerosis. 2001 Sep;158(1):13-7. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9150(00)00758-9.


Considerable evidence of an association between Chlamydia pneumoniae infections and cardiovascular disease has emerged. Animal models using genetically altered mice and hypercholesterolemic rabbits have shown a pathogenic role of C. pneumoniae in accelerating atherosclerotic plaque development. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of chronic C. pneumoniae infection on atherosclerosis in C57BL/6J mice, fed either a regular chow diet or a high fat, high cholesterol diet. Infected animals on an atherogenic diet developed significantly larger lesion areas compared with control mice at 18 weeks (2.5-fold increase; 4177+/-777 vs. 1650+/-808 microm(2); P<0.05) and 24 weeks of age (3.3-fold increase; 14139+/-4147 vs. 4298+/-869 microm(2); P<0.02). This study shows that chronic C. pneumoniae infection accelerates atherosclerotic lesion development in diet induced hypercholesterolemic mice, indicating that C. pneumoniae is a co-risk factor of hyperlipidemia in atherogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / microbiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / pathology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / complications*
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae*
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diet, Atherogenic
  • Disease Progression
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Risk Factors


  • Cholesterol, Dietary