Effect of atorvastatin on the gut microbiota of high fat diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rats.
The aim of the present study was to investigate alterations in gut microbiota associated with hypercholesterolemia and treatment with atorvastatin, a commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering drug. In this study, seven experimental groups of rats were developed based on diets [high-fat diet (HFD) and normal chow diet (NCD)] and various doses of atorvastatin in HFD and NCD groups. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing was used to analyze the gut microbiota. Atorvastatin significantly reduced the cholesterol level in treated rats. Bacterial diversity was decreased in the drug-treated NCD group compared to the NCD control, but atorvastatin-treated HFD groups showed a relative increase in biodiversity compared to HFD control group. Atorvastatin promoted the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and reduced the abundance of Firmicutes in drug-treated HFD groups. Among the dominant taxa in the drug-treated HFD groups, Oscillospira, Parabacteroides, Ruminococcus, unclassified CF231, YRC22 (Paraprevotellaceae), and SMB53 (Clostridiaceae) showed reversion in population distribution toward NCD group relative to HFD group. Drug-treated HFD and NCD groups both showed an increased relative abundance of Helicobacter. Overall, bacterial community composition was altered, and diversity of gut microbiota increased with atorvastatin treatment in HFD group. Reversion in relative abundance of specific dominant taxa was observed with drug treatment to HFD rats.
Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 12;8(1):662. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-19013-2.