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Astragalus alters gut-microbiota composition in type 2 diabetes mice: clues to its pharmacology

Authors Li XY, Shen L, Ji HF

Received 28 January 2019

Accepted for publication 26 March 2019

Published 17 May 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 771—778


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Konstantinos Tziomalos

Xin-Yu Li,1,2 Liang Shen,1,2 Hong-Fang Ji1,2

1Institute of Biomedical Research, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo, Shandong, People’s Republic of China; 2Shandong Provincial Research Center for Bioinformatic Engineering and Technique, Zibo Key Laboratory of New Drug Development of Neurodegenerative Diseases, School of Life Sciences, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo, Shandong, People’s Republic of China

Background: Astragalus possesses therapeutic effects for type 2 diabetes (T2D), while its action mechanisms remain to be elucidated. In view of the pathogenic associations between gut microbiota and T2D, we explored the effect of astragalus on gut-microbiota composition of T2D mice.
Materials and methods: Modulation effects of astragalus on gut microbiota of T2D-model mice were assessed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing.
Results: Inhibited blood-glucose and body-weight levels of T2D mice by astragalus were accompanied by gut microbiota–composition alteration. Astragalus administration significantly increased gut-microbiota richness and diversity in T2D mice and significantly altered the abundance of several bacterial taxa, inducing increased abundance of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. PICRUSt software revealed the relationship between astragalus and T2D.
Conclusion: Due to previously reported decreased gut-microbiota richness and diversity and reduced abundance of key species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, more studies are encouraged to explore the contribution of gut-microbiota alteration by astragalus to its anti-T2D effect.

Keywords: astragalus, type 2 diabetes, gut microbiota, alteration, 16S rRNA gene sequencing

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