This study explored the origin of age-related granules in the apolipoprotein E gene knockout (ApoE-/-) B6 background mice brains following chronic gingival infection with Porphyromonas gingivalis for 24 weeks. Intracerebral localization of P. gingivalis was detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and its protease by immunohistochemistry. The age-related granules were observed by periodic acid-Schiff (PAS), silver impregnation, and immunostaining. FISH showed intracerebral dissemination of P. gingivalis cells (p = 0.001). PAS and silver impregnation demonstrated the presence of larger inclusions restricted to the CA1, CA2, and dentate gyrus sectors of the hippocampus. A specific monoclonal antibody to bacterial peptidoglycan detected clusters of granules with variable sizes in mice brains infected with P. gingivalis (p = 0.004), and also highlighted areas of diffuse punctate staining equating to physical tissue damage. Mouse immunoglobulin G was observed in the capillaries of the cerebral parenchyma of all P. gingivalis-infected brains (p = 0.001), and on pyramidal neurons in some severely affected mice, compared with the sham-infected mice. Gingipains was also observed in microvessels of the hippocampus in the infected mice. This study supports the possibility of early appearance of age-related granules in ApoE-/- mice following inflammation-mediated tissue injury, accompanied by loss of cerebral blood-brain barrier integrity.
Keywords: Age-related granules; blood–brain barrier damage; infection; inflammation; injury.