Diversity of the Gut Microbiota in Dihydrotestosterone-Induced PCOS Rats and the Pharmacologic Effects of Diane-35, Probiotics, and Berberine

Front Microbiol. 2019 Feb 8:10:175. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00175. eCollection 2019.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a frequent endocrine and metabolic syndrome in reproductive-age women. Recently, emerging evidence has shown that gut microbiota is closely related to metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and PCOS. In the present study, we established dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-induced PCOS rats and used Illumina MiSeq sequencing (PE300) to examine the composition, diversity, and abundance of the gut microbiota in PCOS. We compared the effects of three PCOS treatments: Diane-35 (estrogen and progesterone), probiotics and berberine. The DHT-induced rats showed constant estrous cycles, the loss of mature ovarian follicles, insulin resistance and obesity. The reproductive and metabolic functions in the PCOS rats were improved by treatment with Diane-35 and probiotics. Diane-35 and probiotics could restore the diversity of the gut microbiota, and the recovery of gut microbiota disorders improved the reproductive function in PCOS-like rats. However, berberine drastically reduced the species diversity and amount of gut microbiota and showed no improvement in PCOS. The findings of this study will help us to better understand the influence of the gut microbiota in the metabolic and reproductive alterations in PCOS as well as suggest opportunities for future personal dietary guidance for PCOS.

Keywords: DHT; Diane-35; PCOS; berberine; gut microbiota; probiotics.