Protective activities of polysaccharides from Cipangopaludina chinensis against high-fat-diet-induced atherosclerosis via regulating gut microbiota in ApoE-deficient mice†
Sulfated polysaccharides (CCPS) obtained from Cipangopaludina chinensis have a certain protective effect on cardiovascular diseases, but whether they can slow down the development of atherosclerosis (AS) and how they work are still unclear. In this study, we aimed to determine the preventive effects of CCPS on high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced AS in mice and the underlying mechanism focusing on gut microbiota profile modulation. First, male apolipoprotein E knockout mice were fed HFD or normal diet and simultaneously intervened by a blank solvent, CCPS or atorvastatin to last for 12 weeks. Then, the histopathological characteristics, biochemical parameters and gut microbiota compositions of the experimental groups were compared. The results demonstrated that the CCPS supplementation significantly improved HFD-induced AS of the mice, which was mainly manifested by regulating the plasma lipid balance, decreasing the atherosclerotic index and reducing the atherosclerotic plaque area in a dose-dependent manner. Mechanistic analysis revealed that CCPS regulated the bacterial composition including reducing the ratio of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes, decreasing the abundance of harmful bacteria and increasing the abundance of beneficial bacteria. Furthermore, through environmental factor correlation analysis, we found that the preventive effects of CCPS on AS in mice induced by HFD were closely related to reshaping the composition of gut microbiota.