The Effects of Sacran, a Sulfated Polysaccharide, on Gut Microbiota Using Chronic Kidney Disease Model Rats

Biol Pharm Bull. 2022;45(5):576-582. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b21-00897.


The aim of this study was to investigate the beneficial effects of sacran, a sulfated polysaccharide, on renal damage and intestinal microflora, in 5/6 nephrectomy rats as a model for chronic kidney disease (CKD). 5/6 Nephrectomy rats were divided into sacran treated and non-treated groups and examined for lethality after 4 weeks. The 5/6 nephrectomy rats were also divided into three groups: sacran treated, non-treated and AST-120 treated groups, and treated orally in a concentration-dependent manner for 4 weeks. Renal function was estimated by biochemical and histopathological analyses. Metagenomic analysis of feces from each group after 4 weeks was also performed and changes in intestinal microflora were compared. The administration of sacran to CKD rats at ≥19 mg/d increased their survival. In addition, the sacran-treated group improved CKD-related parameters in a concentration-dependent manner, and the inhibitory effect of 40 mg/d of sacran was comparable to that of AST-120. The changes in the intestinal microflora of the sacran treated group were positively correlated with an increase in the number of Lactobacillus species, which are known to be rich in beneficial bacteria, and the increment of this beneficial bacteria was negatively correlated with the concentration of indoxyl sulfate, a uremic toxin, in plasma. These results strongly suggest that the oral administration of sacran could contribute to the stabilization of intestinal microflora in CKD rats and to the reduction of oxidative stress as well as the inhibition of progression of CKD.

Keywords: adsorption; anti-oxidant; chronic kidney disease; gut microbiota; sacran.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / drug therapy
  • Sulfates / therapeutic use


  • Polysaccharides
  • Sulfates
  • sacran