Hematopoietic Npc1 mutation shifts gut microbiota composition in Ldlr(-/-) mice on a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet

Tom Houben, John Penders*, Yvonne Oligschlaeger, Ines A. Magro dos Reis, Marc-Jan Bonder, Debby P. Koonen, Jingyuan Fu, Marten H. Hofker, Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


While the link between diet-induced changes in gut microbiota and lipid metabolism in metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been established, the contribution of host genetics is rather unexplored. As several findings suggested a role for the lysosomal lipid transporter Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC1) in macrophages during MetS, we here explored whether a hematopoietic Npc1 mutation, induced via bone marrow transplantation, influences gut microbiota composition in low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout (Ldlr(-/-)) mice fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol (HFC) diet for 12 weeks. Ldlr(-/-) mice fed a HFC diet mimic a human plasma lipoprotein profile and show features of MetS, providing a model to explore the role of host genetics on gut microbiota under MetS conditions. Fecal samples were used to profile the microbial composition by 16 s ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. The hematopoietic Npc1 mutation shifted the gut microbiota composition and increased microbial richness and diversity. Variations in plasma lipid levels correlated with microbial diversity and richness as well as with several bacterial genera. This study suggests that host genetic influences on lipid metabolism affect the gut microbiome under MetS conditions. Future research investigating the role of host genetics on gut microbiota might therefore lead to identification of diagnostic and therapeutic targets for MetS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14956
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2019


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