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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00530

Gut Microbiome Associates with Lipid-Lowering Effect of Rosuvastatin in vivo

Yinhui Liu1,  Xiaobo Song2, Huimin Zhou3, Xue Zhou4,  Yun L. Xia5, Xin Dong1, Wei Zhong1, Shaoying Tang1, Lili Wang1, Shu Wen1, Jing Xiao6 and  Li Tang1*
  • 1Department of Microecology, College of Basic Medical Science, Dalian Medical University, China
  • 2Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway
  • 3Department of Microbiology, College of Basic Medical Science, Dalian Medical University, China
  • 4Department of Clinial Laboratory, Second Hosptal of Jiaxing, China
  • 5Department of Cardiology, First Affiliated Hospital, Dalian Medical University, China
  • 6Department of Oral Pathology, College of Stomatology, Dalian Medical University, China

Statin has been widely used to treat hyperlipidemia because of its high potency in decreasing cholesterol levels. The present study aimed to examine the lipid-lowering effect of rosuvastatin and the composition, diversity and species abundance of gut microbiome in association with rosuvastatin efficacy. Trial registration: ChiCTR-ORC-17013212, November 2, 2017.
Totally 64 patients with hyperlipidemia were treated with 10 mg/day of rosuvastatin for 4-8 weeks. Blood lipid indicators triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were measured before and after the treatment. Stool samples were collected right after the treatment. Following total DNA extraction and PCR amplification of 16S rRNA gene, Illumina sequencing was performed for gut microbiome identification, classification and characterization. All the patients showed a significant blood lipid reduction after the treatment. The patients were grouped according to parallel manner design. Group I had 33 patients whose blood lipid levels dropped to the normal levels from week 4, with 58.5% reduction in LDL-C and 26.6% reduction in TC. Group II had 31 patients whose blood lipid levels were still above the normal levels after 8 weeks therapy, but with 41.9% reduction in LDL-C and 31.2% reduction in TC. Based on Operational Taxonomic Unit data, Alpha-diversity by Shannon Index was different between the two groups, and beta-diversity by Principle Component Analysis exhibited separated patterns of the two groups. The differences were also observed in the relative-abundance at phylum, family, and genus levels of the two groups. Linear discriminate analysis illustrated that the abundance of 29 taxa was higher in group I, while the abundance of other 13 taxa was higher in group II. Phyla Firmicutes and Fusobacteria had negative correlation to LDL-C level, but Cyanobacteria and Lentisphaerae had a positive correlation to LDL-C level. Moreover, gender and age were also found somehow correlated to microbial community composition.
Rosuvastatin therapy had different blood lipid-lowering effect on hyperlipidemia. The gut microbiota exhibited variation in community composition, diversity and taxa in association to rosuvastatin hypolipidemic effect. These results indicate that modulation of gut microflora, especially the negative/positive correlated species might strengthen statin efficacy in statin-inadequate patients.

Keywords: gut microbiome, 16S rRNA sequencing, Rosuvastatin, Hyperlipidemia, hypolipidemic effect

Received: 02 Jan 2018; Accepted: 08 Mar 2018.

Edited by:

Francesca Turroni, Università degli Studi di Parma, Italy

Reviewed by:

Jaime Garcia-Mena, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN), Mexico
ADELE COSTABILE, University of Roehampton, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2018 Liu, Song, Zhou, Zhou, Xia, Dong, Zhong, Tang, Wang, Wen, Xiao and Tang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Li Tang, Dalian Medical University, Department of Microecology, College of Basic Medical Science, Dalian, China,