Intestinal microbial metabolites are linked to severity of myocardial infarction in rats

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Intestinal microbiota determine severity of myocardial infarction in rats. We determined whether low molecular weight metabolites derived from intestinal microbiota and transported to the systemic circulation are linked to severity of myocardial infarction. Plasma from rats treated for seven days with the non-absorbed antibiotic vancomycin or a mixture of streptomycin, neomycin, polymyxin B and bacitracin was analyzed using mass spectrom-etry-based metabolite profiling platforms. Antibiotic-induced changes in the abundance of individual groups of intestinal microbiota dramatically altered the host's metabolism. Hierarchical clustering of dissimilarities separated the levels of 284 identified metabolites from treated vs. untreated rats; 193 were altered by the antibiotic treatments with a tendency towards decreased metabolite levels. Catabolism of the aromatic amino acids phenylala-nine, tryptophan and tyrosine was the most affected pathway comprising 33 affected metab-olites. Both antibiotic treatments decreased the severity of an induced myocardial infarction in vivo by 27% and 29%, respectively. We then determined whether microbial metabolites of the amino acids phenylalanine, tryptophan and tyrosine were linked to decreased severity of myocardial infarction. Vancomycin-treated rats were administered amino acid metabo-lites prior to ischemia/reperfusion studies. Oral or intravenous pretreatment of rats with these amino acid metabolites abolished the decrease in infarct size conferred by vancomy-cin. Inhibition of JAK-2 (AG-490, 10 μM), Src kinase (PP1, 20 μM), Akt/PI 3 kinase (Wort-mannin, 100 nM), p44/42 MAPK (PD98059, 10 μM), p38 MAPK (SB203580, 10 μM), or K ATP channels (glibenclamide, 3 μM) abolished cardioprotection by vancomycin, indicating microbial metabolites are interacting with cell surface receptors to transduce their signals through Src kinase, cell survival pathways and K ATP channels. These inhibitors have no effect on myocardial infarct size in untreated rats. This study links gut microbiota metabo-lites to severity of myocardial infarction and may provide future opportunities for novel diagnostic tests and interventions for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.




Lam, V., Su, J., Hsu, A., Gross, G. J., Salzman, N. H., & Baker, J. E. (2016). Intestinal microbial metabolites are linked to severity of myocardial infarction in rats. PLoS ONE, 11(8).

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