The effect of Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide on pregnancy in the rat

Alina Kunnen, M.G. van Pampus, Cees van der Schans, F. Abbas, M.M. Faas, Jan G Aarnoudse

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Periodontitis, mostly associated with Porphyromonas gingivalis, has frequently been related to adverse pregnancy outcomes. We therefore investigated whether lipopolysaccharides of P. gingivalis (Pg-LPS) induced pregnancy complications in the rat.
Experiment 1: pregnant rats (day 14) received increasing Pg-LPS doses (0.0-50.0 μg kg-1 bw; n = 2/3 p per dose). Maternal intra-aortic blood pressure, urinary albumin excretion, placental and foetal weight and foetal resorptions were documented. Experiment 2: 10.0 μg kg-1 bw (which induced the highest blood pressure together with decreased foetal weight in experiment 1) or saline was infused in pregnant and non-pregnant rats (n = 7/9 p per group). Parameters of experiment 1 and numbers of peripheral leucocytes as well as signs of inflammation in the kidney and placenta were evaluated.
Pg-LPS infusion in pregnant rats increased maternal systolic blood pressure, reduced placental weight (dose dependently) and decreased foetal weight and induced foetal resorptions. It, however, did not induce proteinuria or a generalised inflammatory response. No effects of Pg-LPS were seen in non-pregnant rats.
Pg-LPS increased maternal blood pressure, induced placental and foetal growth restriction, and increased foetal resorptions, without inducing proteinuria and inflammation. Pg-LPS may therefore play a role in pregnancy complications induced by periodontitis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-601
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • periodontitis
  • pregnancy complications
  • hypertension
  • rats


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