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Your Environment. Your Health.

ROLE OF INTESTINAL MICROBIOTA IN DYSLIPIDEMIA AND ATHEROSCLEROSIS INDUCED BY AMBIENT ULTRAFINE PARTICLES

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Principal Investigator: Araujo, Jesus Antonio
Institute Receiving Award University Of California Los Angeles
Location Los Angeles, CA
Grant Number R01ES029395
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 30 Sep 2018 to 31 Aug 2023
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): ABSTRACT Cumulative epidemiological and experimental data have shown that exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) leads to increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. A causal association between PM exposure and atherosclerosis has been established. Unfortunately, the pathogenic mechanisms remain unknown preventing the development of effective therapeutic strategies. We have found that exposures to ultrafine particles (UFP, PM with an aerodynamic diameter < 0.2 µm) and diesel exhaust lead to increased lipid peroxidation in the lungs and systemic tissues, accompanied by dyslipidemia and a proatherogenic plasma lipoprotein profile, consisting of LDL particles more susceptible to oxidation and dysfunctional HDL particles with loss of their vascular protective properties. However, the mechanisms by which inhalation of UFP lead to effects in the systemic vasculature remain unknown. We and others have shown that exposure to PM lead to marked changes in the gut microbiome, which is known to modulate host metabolism, immunity, and inflammatory responses resulting in pathological conditions, including cardiovascular diseases. This project will evaluate whether a novel microbome-mediated gastrointestinal (GI) pathway mediates PM-induced dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis. Our preliminary data indicate that oral administration of UFP or inhaled diesel exhaust induces changes in gut microbiota diversity, which associates with lipid oxidation in the intestines and blood, dyslipidemia, and liver steatosis together with decreased expression of hepatic PPARα, which may mediate some of the UFP-mediated cardiometabolic actions. Our central hypothesis is that inhalation exposure to ambient UFP induces dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis partly due to changes in gut microbiota composition that lead to dysregulation of PPARα in the liver. We will test this hypothesis via three specific aims: 1) To determine the changes in gut microbiota composition following pulmonary exposure to ultrafine PM. We will perform both UFP inhalation and oral gavage studies to characterize the relative changes in microbiota in Ldlr KO and C57BL/6 mice. 2) To examine whether UFP-induced dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis are mediated by the gut microbiome. The microbiota of UFP-exposed mice will be transferred into germ-free and antibiotic-treated Ldlr KO and C57BL/6 recipients to establish a causal link between UFP- induced gut microbiota effects, lipid metabolism, and atherosclerosis. 3) To determine whether UFP-mediated changes in gut microbiota promote lipid metabolic effects and atherosclerosis via modulation of PPARα expression in the liver. We will determine if UFP-induced changes in hepatic PPARα mediate effects induced by UFP exposure on lipid and atherosclerosis using PPARα KO mice. The results are expected to enhance our understanding of a novel gut microbiome-mediated pathway by which UFP induce adverse systemic effects. If successful, results derived from this project are expected to have a significant impact in developing preventive and therapeutic efforts to ameliorate the health impact of air pollution.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 68 - Microbiome
Publications See publications associated with this Grant.
Program Officer Anika Dzierlenga
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