Risk Factors Induced by Gut Microbiome

Suppression of the gut microbiome ameliorates age‐related arterial dysfunction and oxidative stress in mice

Key points

  • Age‐related arterial dysfunction, characterized by oxidative stress‐ and inflammation‐mediated endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffening, is the primary risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
  • To investigate whether age‐related changes in the gut microbiome may mediate arterial dysfunction, we suppressed gut microbiota in young and old mice with a cocktail of broad‐spectrum, poorly‐absorbed antibiotics in drinking water for 3–4 weeks.
  • In old mice, antibiotic treatment reversed endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffening and attenuated vascular oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • To provide insight into age‐related changes in gut microbiota that may underlie these observations, we show that ageing altered the abundance of microbial taxa associated with gut dysbiosis and increased plasma levels of the adverse gut‐derived metabolite trimethylamine N‐oxide.
  • The results of the present study provide the first proof‐of‐concept evidence that the gut microbiome is an important mediator of age‐related arterial dysfunction and therefore may be a promising therapeutic target for preserving arterial function with ageing, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.