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Anti-Atherosclerotic Properties of Wild Rice in Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor Knockout Mice: The Gut Microbiome, Cytokines, and Metabolomics Study


Anti-Atherosclerotic Properties of Wild Rice in Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor Knockout Mice: The Gut Microbiome, Cytokines, and Metabolomics Study

Mohammed H Moghadasian et al. Nutrients.


Background and aim: We previously reported the anti-atherogenic properties of wild rice in low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout (LDL-r-KO) mice. The present study aimed to discover the mechanism of action for such effects.

Materials: Fecal and plasma samples from the wild rice treated and control mice were used. Fecal bacterial population was estimated while using 16S rDNA technology. The plasma samples were used to estimate the levels of 35 inflammatory markers and metabolomics, while using Meso Scale multiplex assay and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) techniques.

Results: Many bacteria, particularly Anaeroplasma sp., Acetatifactor sp., and Prophyromonadaceae sp., were found in higher quantities in the feces of wild rice fed mice as compared to the controls. Cytokine profiles were significantly different between the plasma of treated and control mice. Among them, an increase in the level of IL-10 and erythropoietin (EPO) could explain the anti-atherogenic properties of wild rice. Among many metabolites tested in plasma of these animals, surprisingly, we found an approximately 60% increase in the levels of glucose in the wild rice fed mice as compared to that in the control mice.

Conclusion: Additional studies warrant further investigation of the interplay among gut microbiome, inflammatory status, and macronutrient metabolism.

Keywords: 16S rDNA; LDL-r-KO mice; atherosclerosis; carbohydrates; cytokines; feces; functional food; metabolomics; microbiome; plasma; proteins; wild rice.

Conflict of interest statement

Authors claim no conflict of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
(A) Venn diagram comparing 16S rDNA operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from the feces of wild rice and control diet fed mice at weeks 0, 4, 16, and 24. The red curved arrow highlights the decrease in the unique total OTUs in the wild rice fed mice from week 0 to week 24 of the study. (B) The relative abundance of the top 20 most abundant bacterial OTUs identified from wild rice or control diet fecal samples at weeks 0 to 24. Identified OTUs are listed according to their order (bottom to top) and color within the bar chart.
Figure 2
Figure 2
The abundance of OTUs for selected species identified from 16S rDNA analysis of wild rice fed and control fecal samples. All samples were collected at week 16 of the study with an n = 4 per group. OTU 4: Acetatifactor sp. unclassified; OTU 1064: Porphyromonadaceae sp. unclassified; OTU 104999: uncultured Anaeroplasma sp. *: p < 0.05 as compared with the controls.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Representative photomicrographs were taken at the beginning of aorta from one control mouse (A,B) and one wild rice fed mouse (C,D) illustrating atherosclerotic lesions (arrows). As it is seen in (A,B), atherosclerotic lesions are large and well established in the control mouse (arrows), while such advanced lesions are missing in the wild rice fed mouse (C,D). H&E staining (A,C); trichrome staining (B,D).

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