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      Butyrate-producing bacteria and the gut-heart axis in atherosclerosis

      , , , , , ,
      Clinica Chimica Acta
      Elsevier BV

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          Intestinal Microbial Metabolism of Phosphatidylcholine and Cardiovascular Risk

          Recent studies in animals have shown a mechanistic link between intestinal microbial metabolism of the choline moiety in dietary phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) and coronary artery disease through the production of a proatherosclerotic metabolite, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). We investigated the relationship among intestinal microbiota-dependent metabolism of dietary phosphatidylcholine, TMAO levels, and adverse cardiovascular events in humans. We quantified plasma and urinary levels of TMAO and plasma choline and betaine levels by means of liquid chromatography and online tandem mass spectrometry after a phosphatidylcholine challenge (ingestion of two hard-boiled eggs and deuterium [d9]-labeled phosphatidylcholine) in healthy participants before and after the suppression of intestinal microbiota with oral broad-spectrum antibiotics. We further examined the relationship between fasting plasma levels of TMAO and incident major adverse cardiovascular events (death, myocardial infarction, or stroke) during 3 years of follow-up in 4007 patients undergoing elective coronary angiography. Time-dependent increases in levels of both TMAO and its d9 isotopologue, as well as other choline metabolites, were detected after the phosphatidylcholine challenge. Plasma levels of TMAO were markedly suppressed after the administration of antibiotics and then reappeared after withdrawal of antibiotics. Increased plasma levels of TMAO were associated with an increased risk of a major adverse cardiovascular event (hazard ratio for highest vs. lowest TMAO quartile, 2.54; 95% confidence interval, 1.96 to 3.28; P<0.001). An elevated TMAO level predicted an increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events after adjustment for traditional risk factors (P<0.001), as well as in lower-risk subgroups. The production of TMAO from dietary phosphatidylcholine is dependent on metabolism by the intestinal microbiota. Increased TMAO levels are associated with an increased risk of incident major adverse cardiovascular events. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).
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            Supplementation with Akkermansia muciniphila in overweight and obese human volunteers: a proof-of-concept exploratory study

            Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a constellation of comorbidities that predispose individuals to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular pathologies as well as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) 1 . The gut microbiota is considered as a new key contributor involved in the onset of obesity-related disorders 2 . In humans, studies have provided evidence for a negative correlation between Akkermansia muciniphila abundance and overweight, obesity, untreated T2DM, or hypertension 3–8 . As the administration of A.muciniphila has never been investigated in humans, we conducted a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study in overweight/obese insulin resistant volunteers, 40 were enroled and 32 completed the trial. The primary endpoints were on safety, tolerability and metabolic parameters (i.e., insulin resistance, circulating lipids, visceral adiposity, body mass). The secondary outcomes were the gut barrier function (i.e., plasma lipopolysacharrides (LPS) and gut microbiota composition. In this single-center study, we demonstrated that daily oral supplementation of 1010 bacteria either alive or pasteurized A.muciniphila for 3 months was safe and well tolerated. Compared to the Placebo, pasteurized A.muciniphila improved insulin sensitivity (+28.62±7.02%, P=0.002), reduced insulinemia (-34.08±7.12%, P=0.006) and plasma total cholesterol (-8.68±2.38%, P=0.02). Pasteurized A.muciniphila supplementation slightly decreased body weight (-2.27±0.92kg, P=0.091) as compared to the Placebo group, and fat mass (-1.37±0.82kg, P=0.092) and hip circumference (-2.63±1.14cm, P = 0.091) as compared to baseline. After 3 months of supplementation, A.muciniphila reduced the levels of relevant blood markers of liver dysfunction and inflammation while the overall gut microbiome structure was unaffected. In conclusion, this proof-of-concept study (NCT02637115) shows that the intervention was safe and well-tolerated and that the supplementation with A.muciniphila improves several metabolic paramaters.
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              Diversity, metabolism and microbial ecology of butyrate-producing bacteria from the human large intestine.

              Butyrate-producing bacteria play a key role in colonic health in humans. This review provides an overview of the current knowledge of the diversity, metabolism and microbial ecology of this functionally important group of bacteria. Human colonic butyrate producers are Gram-positive firmicutes, but are phylogenetically diverse, with the two most abundant groups related to Eubacterium rectale/Roseburia spp. and to Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. Five different arrangements have been identified for the genes of the central pathway involved in butyrate synthesis, while in most cases butyryl-CoA : acetate CoA-transferase, rather than butyrate kinase, appears to perform the final step in butyrate synthesis. Mechanisms have been proposed recently in non-gut Clostridium spp. whereby butyrate synthesis can result in energy generation via both substrate-level phosphorylation and proton gradients. Here we suggest that these mechanisms also apply to the majority of butyrate producers from the human colon. The roles of these bacteria in the gut community and their influence on health are now being uncovered, taking advantage of the availability of cultured isolates and molecular methodologies. Populations of F. prausnitzii are reported to be decreased in Crohn's disease, for example, while populations of Roseburia relatives appear to be particularly sensitive to the diet composition in human volunteer studies.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Clinica Chimica Acta
                Clinica Chimica Acta
                Elsevier BV
                00098981
                August 2020
                August 2020
                : 507
                : 236-241
                Article
                10.1016/j.cca.2020.04.037
                32376324
                dd401746-bf82-485e-9cce-320c3057d801
                © 2020

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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