Role of the Gut Microbiome in Hypertension

September 16, 2019 0 By Jose Scott

Hello my name is Nicola Wilck.
I’m from Berlin, Germany and next to me are Professor
Bina Joe and Ms. Blair Mell from the University of Toledo, Ohio. They will be presenting on the role of the gut microbiome in
hypertension tomorrow. This is an exciting field of new research. So, the gut microbiome and
cardiovascular disease. How do these two worlds go together? – Yeah, that’s a nice question. In fact, a well-timed question. If you look at all the
research that has gone on in the genomics world we have been restricted to the whole genome of the host, and we haven’t really looked
at another complete genome that resides within us,
which is the microbiome. And these are the exciting
times to look forward to a lot of research in the
area of the gut microbiome and how it influences
hypertension, in particular, which is the question we
are asking in the lab. And I’m sure in the next few years to come this is just gonna build up heavily. There are only very few
labs working on it now and all of the labs that are involved, most of the labs that are involved, are going to be at this
meeting, which is exciting. The current concept is that we don’t really know for sure that the
microbiome influences hypertension. That is what we have learned and we’re going to be
talking about tomorrow. But what goes from that point
is the mechanisms of it. How is it doing it? How is it influencing the host genome? Are they crosstalking?
Are they independent? And it comes to in the
context of salt, for example, how do enviromental factors
play a role in this process? Blair has discovered that what we find in our animals is
salt-sensitive phenomenon which she’s going to talk about. Do you want to talk about
it a little bit today? – Yes, so our study of
uses the Dawl rat model. Which the S and R rat, the
S rat being salt-sensitive and the R rat being salt-resistant. We see many genetic
variants between these two even though they were both generated from the Sprague Dawley rat there are many genetic variants. Also their gut microbiota is
very different between the two. – So the diseased microbiome is different. So, what is your opinion? Is the host shaping the microbiome or is it other environmental factors? – The predominant factor we
are after is the host genome. Because the same genome, the S rat which is a
salt-sensitive, hypertensive animal. It behaves differently
when it’s given microbiota from the salt-resistant animal. So when we put that in,
blood pressure goes up. Which is very intriguing
for why would it go up. And the composition of the microbiota is something very, very
important to look at. Technologically, we might
be limited at this point to have a view into all the
specific species of bacteria that are in there that are causing all of the effects that we observed. So, in years to come I would anticipate the research to be taken away from just the firmicutes or
bacteroidetes or certain classes into very unique type of
bacteria that are causing these phenotypes that we observe. If you look at it for
a therapeutic interest for where we would go
into humans with this. The field is exciting
for where it could go. It would be simple interventions
at the dietary level with yogurt, with certain
strains of bacteria that may help with
preventing the progression of the hypertension or even
decreasing the susceptibility over the genetic susceptibility they have. So those are some ideas which are really in its infancy at this time. But eventually I see this
coming on as a big team. As you saw today the director of the NHLBI making an impact of this
point in his presentation that the microbiome, in
addition to the genetics, could play a major role in contributing to the genesis of hypertension. – So, hypertension specialists should care about the microbiome in
anti-hypertensives therapy. Is that your point? – Absolutely, but for them
to care deeply about it we need more research to
be done very carefully. We are at the front engine part of this with tools and techniques available at our disposal to study this. The gut neural connections
are being investigated. The interstenal lodes
are being investigated. Some of these are being
presented tomorrow. And, I think the dynamics of this, the scope of this, is
just beginning to unfold. – [Nicola] Yes. And, clinicians will eventually
have access to actual mechanistic knowledge of how this operates and be careful in using
it in their practice. And that’s way down the
lane, if I can say so. I know you are presenting
some work tomorrow. Could you enlighten us a little bit on what you are going to talk about? – I’m going to talk about the role of short-chain fatty acids in
cardiac and organ damage. So, you mentioned the
causative mechanisms. So description of diseased
microbiomes is one thing but identification of causitive mechanisms and one way microbiota
communicate with the host is by means of the metabolized
which are absorbed. And which have an impact
on host inflammation and maybe blood pressure. So there are loads of
metabolites to be discovered and short-chain fatty
acids are one of them. – Right, we have found that to be the case in our model as well. And I shouldn’t fail to
mention Dr. Pluznik’s group was one of the first ones
that did elude to this point with their g-protien
coupled receptor research that short-chain fatty
acids could indeed be modulators and their
receptors could be coming in from the host geneome prospective. In our model we have variants
of many other g-protein coupled receptors that are
fantastic targets to look at whether they are cross-talking. Again, even with doing all of this, I think we are very small
in our mechanistic approach. Don’t you agree? – [Niklovic] I agree. – Yeah, there appears to be much more that we need to dwell into for renal influence of from the gut and then signaling from the gut to various other organs that are implicated in blood pressure regulation. Right? Overall, we are very
excited to take this head-on and move forward in this area of research which will one day hopefully there’ll be a nice, magic pill that
we haven’t, you know, thought about at this time. But this could be the beginnings
of going there with it in terms of targeted dietary bacterial load into hypertensives to be provided in
addition to the DASH diet. – Wonderful, thank you very
much for the interview. All the best for your
presentation tomorrow. – [Bina] To you too, thank you very much. – [Blair] Thanks.