Detection of Nanobacteria-Like Particles in Human Atherosclerotic Plaques
Recent and historical evidence is consistent with the view that atherosclerosis is an infectious disease or microbial toxicosis impacted by genetics and behavior. Because small bacterial-like particles, also known as nanobacteria have been detected in kidney stones, kidney and liver cyst fluids, and can form a calcium apatite coat we posited that this agent is present in calcified human atherosclerotic plaques. Carotid and aortic atherosclerotic plaques and blood samples collected at autopsy were examined for nanobacteria- like structures by light microscopy (hematoxylin-eosin and a calcium-specific von Kossa staining), immuno-gold labeling for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for specific nanobacterial antigens, and propagation from homogenized, filtered specimens in culture medium. Nanobacterial antigens were identified in situ by immuno-TEM in 9 of 14 plaque specimens, but none of the normal carotid or aortic tissue (5 specimens). Nanobacteria-like particles were propagated from 26 of 42 sclerotic aorta and carotid samples and were confirmed by dot immunoblot, light microscopy and TEM. [3H]L-aspartic acid was incorporated into high molecular weight compounds of demineralized particles. PCR amplification of 16S rDNA sequences from the particles was unsuccessful by traditional protocols. Identification of nanobacteria-like particles at the lesion supports, but does not by itself prove the hypothesis that these agents contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, especially vascular calcifications.
KeywordsNanobacteria-like particles atherosclerosis carotid artery aorta vascular plaque
Dulbecco’s Eagle’s medium
transmission electron microscopy
fetal bovine serum
low density lipoprotein
bovine serum albumin
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 2.Kiechl, S., Egger, G., Mayr, M., Wiedermann, C. J., Bonora, E., Oberhollenzer, F., Muggeo, M., Xu, Q., Wick, G., Poewe, W., Willeit, J. (2001) Chronic infections and the risk of carotid atherosclerosis: Prospective results from a large population study. Circulation 103, 1064–1070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 3.Kessler, M. Atherosclerosis and hemodialysis. Nephrologie 21, 349–350.Google Scholar
- 4.Zoccali, C., Benedetto, F. A., Mallamaci, F., Tripepi, G., Fermo, I., Foca, A., Paroni, R., Malatoni, L. S. (2000) Inflammation is associated with carotid atherosclerosis in dialysis patients. Creed Investigators. Cardiovascular Risk Extended Evaluation in Dialysis Patients. J. Hypertens. 18, 1207–1213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 9.Burian, K., Kis, Z., Virok, D., Endresz, V., Prohaszka, Z., Duba, J., Berencsi, K., Boda, K., Horvath, L., Romics, L., Fust, G., Gonczol, E. (2001) Independent and joint effects of antibodies to human heat-shock protein 60 and Chlamydia pneumoniae infection in the development of coronary atherosclerosis. Circulation 103, 1503–1508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 20.Mininck, C. R., Fabricant, C. G., Fabricant, J., Litrenta, M. M. (1979) Atheroarteriosclerosis induced by infection with a herpesvirus. Am. J. Pathol. 96, 673–706.Google Scholar
- 29.Kajander, E. O., Kuronen, I., Åkerman, K., Pelttari, A., Ciftcioglu, N. (1997) Nanobacteria from blood, the smallest culturable autonomously replicating agent on Earth. Proc. SPIE Int. Soc. Opt. Eng. 3111, 420–428.Google Scholar
- 39.Conte, V. A., Grases, F. F., Costa-Bauza, A., Piza, R. P. (2001) Microinfections and kidney lithiasis. Arch. Esp. Urol. 54, 855–860.Google Scholar
- 42.Drancourt, M., Jacomo, V., Lepidi, H., Lechevallier, E., Grisoni, V., Coulange, C., Ragni, E., Alasia, C., Dussol, B., Berland, Y., Raoult, D. (2003) Attempted isolation of Nanobacterium sp. microorganisms from upper urinary tract stones. J. Clin. Microbiol. 41, 368–372.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 43.Price, P. A., Thomas, G. R., Pardini, A. W., Figueira, W. F., Caputo, J. M., Williamson, M. K. (2002) Discovery of a high molecular weight complex of calcium, phosphate, fetuin, and matrix gamma-carboxyglutamic acid protein in the serum of etidronate-treated rats. J. Biol. Chem. 277, 3926–3934.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 46.Ciftcioglu, N., McKay, D. S., Kajander, E. O. (2003) Association between nanobacteria and periodontal disease. Circulation 108, 58–59.Google Scholar
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.