We proposed that circulating metabolites generated by the intestinal microbiota can affect vascular function. One such metabolite, indole 3-propionic acid (IPA), can activate the pregnane X receptor(PXR), a xenobiotic-activated nuclear receptor present in many tissues, including the vascular endothelium. We hypothesized that IPA could regulate vascular function by modulating PXR activity. To test this, Pxr+/+ mice were administered broad-spectrum antibiotics for 2 wk with IPA supple-mentation. Vascular function was evaluated by bioassay using aorta and pulmonary artery ring tissue from antibiotic-treated Pxr+/+ and Pxr-/-mice, supplemented with IPA, and using aorta tissue maintained in organ culture for 24 h in the presence of IPA. Endothelium-dependent, nitric oxide(NO)-mediated muscarinic and proteinase-activated receptor 2(PAR2)-stimulated vasodilation was assessed. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) abundance was evaluated in intact tissue or in aorta-derived endothelial cell cultures from Pxr+/+ and Pxr-/- mice, and vascular Pxr levels were assessed in tissues obtained from Pxr+/+ mice treated with antibiotics and supplemented with IPA. Antibiotic-treated Pxr+/+ mice exhibited enhanced agonist-induced endothelium-dependent vasodilation, which was phenocopied by tissues from either Pxr-/- or germ-free mice. IPA exposure reduced the vasodilatory responses in isolated and cultured vessels. No effects of IPA were observed for tissues obtained from Pxr-/- mice. Serum nitrate levels were increased in antibiotic-treated Pxr+/+and Pxr-/- mice. eNOS abundance was increased in aorta tissues and cultured endothelium from Pxr-/- mice. PXR stimulation reduced eNOS expression in cultured endothelial cells from Pxr+/+ but not Pxr-/- mice. The microbial metabolite IPA, via the PXR, plays a key role in regulating endothelial function. Furthermore, antibiotic treatment changes PXR-mediated vascular endothelial responsiveness by upregulating eNOS.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism|
|State||Published - Aug 2019|
- Pregnane X receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Physiology (medical)