Increased Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure Is Associated With Altered Gut Microbiota Composition and Butyrate Production in Early Pregnancy
The risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia is higher in obese pregnant women. In obesity, the composition of the gut microbiota is altered. Obesity is also associated with low-grade inflammation. Metabolites from the gut microbiota may contribute to both hypertension and inflammation. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the composition of the gut microbiota in overweight and obese pregnant women is associated with blood pressure and levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1. The composition of the gut microbiota was determined with 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing in 205 women at 16 weeks gestation from the SPRING study (the Study of Probiotics IN Gestational diabetes). Expression of butyrate-producing genes in the gut microbiota was assessed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels were measured in fasting serum of a subset of 70 women. Blood pressure was slightly but significantly higher in obese compared with overweight women. The abundance of the butyrate-producing genus Odoribacter was inversely correlated with systolic blood pressure. Butyrate production capacity was decreased, but plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 concentrations increased in obese pregnant women. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels were inversely correlated with expression of butyrate kinase and Odoribacter abundance. This study shows that in overweight and obese pregnant women at 16 weeks gestation, the abundance of butyrate-producing bacteria and butyrate production in the gut microbiota is significantly negatively associated with blood pressure and with plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels. Increasing butyrate-producing capacity may contribute to maintenance of normal blood pressure in obese pregnant women.
- Received May 24, 2016.
- Revision received June 13, 2016.
- Accepted July 13, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.