Aspects of maternal lipoprotein profile are related to measures of infant growth and to other pregnancy complications such as the development of GDM or preeclampsia. The composition of the gut microbiome may influence host metabolic health through multiple potential mechanisms, including influencing bile acid production and increasing short chain fatty acid production.
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship between maternal gut microbiome and maternal lipoproteins in early pregnancy.
The composition of the gut microbiota was determined in 198 women at 16 weeks gestation from the SPRING study with 16S rRNA sequencing. Data files were processed using QIIME (Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology) software and the FDR-corrected P-values are presented. Clinical data and fasting lipoprotein levels were measured at 16 weeks gestation.
Bacteria from the phylum Bacteroidetes were related to triglycerides, VLDL and LDL levels. The order Bacteroidales was negatively correlated with triglyceride levels (rho=-0.24, P<0.0001) and VLDL trended (rho=-0.23, P=0.07). The genus Bacteroides was negatively correlated with LDL (rho=-0.22, P<0.0001).
Bacteria from the class Clostridia were related to triglycerides, VLDL and HDL. The order Clostridiales was negatively correlated with both triglycerides (rho=-0.25, P<0.0001) and VLDL (rho=-0.24, P<0.0001). The family Ruminococcaceae was negatively correlated with both triglycerides (rho=-0.25, P<0.0001) and VLDL (rho=-0.23, P<0.0001), but positively associated with HDL (rho=0.25, P<0.0001). Veillonella dispar was negatively associated with LDL (rho=-0.22, P<0.0001).
LDL was also negatively associated with the genus Catenibacterium (rho=-0.23, P<0.0001) and genus Streptococcus (rho=-0.20, P=0.03).
These findings confirm associations between lipoproteins and the gut microbiome seen in studies outside pregnancy. Members of the orders Bacteroidales, and Clostridiales are implicated in short chain fatty acid metabolism. Ruminococcaceae are involved in colonic fermentation of dietary fibres. Both Veillonella and Streptococcus have previously been demonstrated to reside in atherosclerotic plaque.