Gut microbiome of a porcine model of metabolic syndrome and HF-pEF

Aoife N. O'Donovan, Florence M. Herisson, Fiona Fouhy, Paul M. Ryan, Derek Whelan, Crystal N. Johnson, Gaston Cluzel, R. Paul Ross, Catherine Stanton, Noel M. Caplice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a composite of cardiometabolic risk factors, including obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance, with a range of secondary sequelae such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and diastolic heart failure. This syndrome has been identified as one of the greatest global health challenges of the 21st century. Herein, we examine whether a porcine model of diet- and mineralocorticoid-induced MetS closely mimics the cardiovascular, metabolic, gut microbiota, and functional metataxonomic phenotype observed in human studies. Landrace pigs with deoxycorticosterone acetate-induced hypertension fed a diet high in fat, salt, and sugar over 12 wk were assessed for hyperlipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, and immunohistologic, echocardiographic, and hemodynamic parameters, as well as assessed for microbiome phenotype and function through 16S rRNA metataxonomic and metabolomic analysis, respectively. All MetS animals developed obesity, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance, hypertension, fatty liver, structural cardiovascular changes including left ventricular hypertrophy and left atrial enlargement, and increased circulating saturated fatty acid levels, all in keeping with the human phenotype. A reduction in α-diversity and specific microbiota changes at phylum, family, and genus levels were also observed in this model. Specifically, this porcine model of MetS displayed increased abundances of proinflammatory bacteria coupled with increased circulating tumor necrosis factor-α and increased secondary bile acid-producing bacteria, which substantially impacted fibroblast growth factor-19 expression. Finally, a significant decrease in enteroprotective bacteria and a reduction in short-chain fatty acid-producing bacteria were also noted. Together, these data suggest that diet and mineralocorticoid-mediated development of biochemical and cardiovascular stigmata of metabolic syndrome in pigs leads to temporal gut microbiome changes that mimic key gut microbial population signatures in human cardiometabolic disease. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study extends a prior porcine model of cardiometabolic syndrome to include systemic inflammation, fatty liver, and insulin sensitivity. Gut microbiome changes during evolution of porcine cardiometabolic disease recapitulate those in human subjects with alterations in gut taxa associated with proinflammatory bacteria, bile acid, and fatty acid pathways. This clinical scale model may facilitate design of future interventional trials to test causal relationships between gut dysbiosis and cardiometabolic syndrome at a systemic and organ level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H590-H603
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiometabolic syndrome
  • gut microbiome
  • pig


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