Effects of NS Lactobacillus strains on lipid metabolism of rats fed a high-cholesterol diet

Xu Hu, Tao Wang, Wei Li, Feng Jin, Li Wang
Lipids in Health and Disease 2013 May 9, 12: 67

BACKGROUND: Elevated serum cholesterol level is generally considered to be a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases which seriously threaten human health. The cholesterol-lowering effects of lactic acid bacteria have recently become an area of great interest and controversy for many researchers. In this study, we investigated the effects of two NS lactobacillus strains, Lactobacillus plantarum NS5 and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus NS12, on lipid metabolism of rats fed a high cholesterol diet.

METHODS: Thirty-two SD rats were assigned to four groups and fed either a normal or a high-cholesterol diet. The NS lactobacillus treated groups received the high-cholesterol diet supplemented with Lactobacillus plantarum NS5 or Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus NS12 in drinking water. The rats were sacrificed after a 6-week feeding period. Body weights, visceral organ and fat weights, serum and liver cholesterol and lipid levels, intestinal microbiota and liver mRNA expression levels related to cholesterol metabolism were analyzed. Liver lipid deposition and adipocyte size were evaluated histologically.

RESULTS: Compared with rats fed a high cholesterol diet, serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B and free fatty acids levels were decreased and apolipoprotein A-I level was increased in NS5 or NS12 strain treated rats, and with no significant change in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level. Liver cholesterol and triglyceride levels were also significantly decreased in NS lactobacillus strains treated groups. Meanwhile, the NS lactobacillus strains obviously alleviated hepatic injuries, decreased liver lipid deposition and reduced adipocyte size of high cholesterol diet fed rats. NS lactobacillus strains restored the changes in intestinal microbiota compositions, such as the increase in Bacteroides and the decrease in Clostridium. NS lactobacillus strains also regulated the mRNA expression levels of liver enzymes related to cholesterol metabolism, including the down regulation of acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) and the upregulation of cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1).

CONCLUSION: This study suggested that the two NS lactobacillus strains may affect lipid metabolism and have cholesterol-lowering effects in rats fed a high cholesterol diet.

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