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Intestinal Microbial Metabolites Are Linked to Severity of Myocardial Infarction in Rats. PLoS One 2016;11(8):e0160840



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Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84983638440   43 Citations


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 spectrometry-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 phenylalanine, tryptophan and tyrosine was the most affected pathway comprising 33 affected metabolites. 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 metabolites prior to ischemia/reperfusion studies. Oral or intravenous pretreatment of rats with these amino acid metabolites abolished the decrease in infarct size conferred by vancomycin. Inhibition of JAK-2 (AG-490, 10 μM), Src kinase (PP1, 20 μM), Akt/PI3 kinase (Wortmannin, 100 nM), p44/42 MAPK (PD98059, 10 μM), p38 MAPK (SB203580, 10 μM), or KATP 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 KATP channels. These inhibitors have no effect on myocardial infarct size in untreated rats. This study links gut microbiota metabolites to severity of myocardial infarction and may provide future opportunities for novel diagnostic tests and interventions for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Author List

Lam V, Su J, Hsu A, Gross GJ, Salzman NH, Baker JE


John E. Baker PhD Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Nita H. Salzman MD, PhD Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Anti-Bacterial Agents
Gastrointestinal Microbiome
Myocardial Infarction
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a