USA 2018 USA Grant Winner


Gut-brain axis in diseases



T. Yang, University of Toledo

R-HTN-associated gut dysbiosis alters gut-brain axis and antihypertensive drugs’ efficacy


Dysregulation of gut microbiota, has been linked to a variety of diseases, even though many of them are not local intestinal disorders. Recent studies also found that gut microbiota tremendously affects the efficacy of a variety of medications, including drugs for anti-tumor therapy, heart failure, heart rhythm problems, colorectal cancer, etc. The potential mechanisms of gut microbiota-mediated transformation of xenobiotics (e.g. drugs) have been indicated.

Patients with resistant hypertension have profound occurrence of target organ damage and are at great risk of adverse cardiovascular events. There are currently no reliable and reproducible treatment option that can be easily administered to large hypertension population. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop novel and paradigm-changing concepts for the treatment and control of this highly prevalent disease.

We believe that our hypothesis that dysfunctional gut-brain communication in the hypertension significantly influences the efficacy of antihypertensive drugs could be such one concept. Our study, if proven, provides strong support that targeting the gut to rebalance the gut-brain axis increases the efficacy of antihypertensive drugs.