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AST-120 Treatment Alters the Gut Microbiota Composition and Suppresses Hepatic Triglyceride Levels in Obese Mice

Yuki Hiraga, , Makoto Katoh, Yasushi Horai, Hiroyuki Suzuki, Yusuke Yamashita, Rieko Hirata,
Published: 1 June 2021

Abstract: Background: The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been increasing worldwide. The existence of a relationship between the microbiota and the pathology of hepatic steatosis is also becoming increasingly clear. AST-120, an oral spherical carbon adsorbent, has been shown to be useful for delaying dialysis initiation and improving uremic symptoms in patients with chronic kidney disease. However, little is known about the effect of AST-120 on fatty liver. Methods: AST-120 (5% w/w) was administrated to 6-week-old male db/db mice for 8 weeks. The body weight, blood glucose and food consumption were examined. Hepatic triglyceride (TG) levels, lipid droplets and epididymal fat cell size were measured. The gut microbiota compositions were investigated in feces and cecum. Results: Significant decreases of the hepatic weight and hepatic TG levels were observed in the AST-120-treated db/db mice. Furthermore, AST-120 treatment was also associated with a decrease of Bacteroidetes, increase of Firmicutes, and a reduced ratio of Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes (B/F ratio) in the feces in the db/db mice. The B/F ratio in the feces was correlated with the liver weight and area of the liver occupied by lipid droplets in the db/db mice. Conclusions: These data suggest that AST-120 treatment alters the composition of the fecal microbiota and suppresses hepatic TG levels in the db/db mice.
Keywords: AST-120 / lipid droplets / microbiota / hepatic steatosis / obesity

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