Enterobacter aerogenes ZDY01 inhibits choline-induced atherosclerosis through CDCA-FXR-FGF15 axis

Food Funct. 2021 Oct 19;12(20):9932-9946. doi: 10.1039/d1fo02021h.


Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases worldwide. Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a metabolite of intestinal flora from dietary quaternary amines, has been shown to be closely related to the development of atherosclerosis. Previous studies have shown that Enterobacter aerogenes ZDY01 significantly reduces the serum levels of TMAO and cecal trimethylamine (TMA) in Balb/c mice; however, its role in the inhibition of choline-induced atherosclerosis in ApoE-/- mice remains unclear. Here, we demonstrated that E. aerogenes ZDY01 inhibited choline-induced atherosclerosis in ApoE-/- mice fed with 1.3% choline by reducing cecal TMA and modulating CDCA-FXR/FGF15 axis. We observed that E. aerogenes ZDY01 decreased the cecal TMA and serum TMAO levels by utilizing cecal TMA as a nutrient, not by changing the expression of hepatic FMO3 and the composition of gut microbiota. Furthermore, E. aerogenes ZDY01 enhanced the expression of bile acid transporters and reduced the cecal CDCA levels, thereby attenuating the FXR/FGF15 pathway, upregulating the expression of Cyp7a1, promoting reverse cholesterol transport. Taken together, E. aerogenes ZDY01 attenuated choline-induced atherosclerosis in ApoE-/- mice by decreasing cecal TMA and promoting reverse cholesterol transport, implying that E. aerogenes ZDY01 treatment might have therapeutic potential in atherosclerosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Atherosclerosis / microbiology
  • Cecum / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol 7-alpha-Hydroxylase / metabolism
  • Choline / adverse effects
  • Diet / methods
  • Enterobacter aerogenes*
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects
  • Methylamines / analysis
  • Methylamines / blood
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout, ApoE
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Methylamines
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • fibroblast growth factor 15, mouse
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Cholesterol 7-alpha-Hydroxylase
  • trimethyloxamine
  • trimethylamine
  • Choline