Fecal microbiota transplantation alleviates myocardial damage in myocarditis by restoring the microbiota composition.
Pharmacol Res. 2019 01 ;139:412-421. Epub 2018 Nov 30. PMID: 30508676
Myocarditis can be caused by several infectious and noninfectious causes. Treatment for myocarditis is still a difficult task in clinical practice. The gut microbiota is related to cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and hypertension. However, little is known about the role of the gut microbiota in myocarditis. In our study, we tested the hypothesis that gut dysbiosis is associated with myocarditis. We focused on whether fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) can be used as an effective treatment for myocarditis. We used an experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM) mouse model. Fecal samples were isolated from the control and EAM groups for bacterial genome analysis. We observed an increase in microbial richness and diversity in the myocarditis mice. These changes were accompanied by an increased Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio. We also evaluated the efficacy of FMT for the treatment of myocarditis. EAM mouse guts were repopulated with fecal contents from an untreated male mouse donor. We found that myocardial injury was improved by diminished inflammatory infiltration, showing that IFN-γ gene expression in the heart tissue and CD4IFN-γcells in the spleen were decreased after FMT in EAM mice. We also found that FMT was able to rebalance the gut microbiota by restoring the Bacteroidetes population and reshaping the microbiota composition. Myocarditis is associated with gut microbiota dysbiosis and characterized by an increased F/B ratio. FMT treatment can rebalance the gut microbiota and attenuate myocarditis. Thus, FMT may be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of myocarditis.