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Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 17, pp 7141–7149 | Cite as

Regulation of gut microbiota in Alzheimer’s disease mice by silibinin and silymarin and their pharmacological implications

  • Liang Shen
  • Lu Liu
  • Xin-Yu Li
  • Hong-Fang JiEmail author
Applied microbial and cell physiology

Abstract

The newly reported associations between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and gut microbiota indicate the potential of gut microbiota regulation–based therapeutic intervention for AD. Silymarin and its main active component, silibinin, are promising natural agents against AD, while their acting mechanisms remain to be explored. The present study investigated the effects of silibinin and silymarin administration on behavioral and histological manifestations, and regulation on the gut microbiota of transgenic APP/PS1 mice. First, silibinin and silymarin administration could alleviate memory deficits and reduce the amyloid plaque burden in the brain of APP/PS1 mice in comparison with controls. Second, silibinin and silymarin administration tended to decrease the microbiota diversity and exhibited regulative effect in abundances on several key bacterial species associated with AD development. This implied that gut microbiota regulation by silibinin and silymarin might be involved in their effects against AD. Further studies are warranted to fully elucidate the molecular mechanisms.

Keywords

Alzheimer’s disease Silymarin Silibinin Gut microbiota 

Notes

Author contributions

HFJ and LS conceived and directed the study and drafted and revised the manuscript. LL, XYL, and LS performed the experiments and analyzed the data.

Funding Information

This work was supported by the Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. ZR2018MH010), Shandong Provincial Key Research and Development Program (Grant No. 2018GSF121001), National Science and Technology Major Projects of New Drugs (Grant No. 2015ZX09102015), and Talent Program of Zibo.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liang Shen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lu Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xin-Yu Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hong-Fang Ji
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Biomedical ResearchShandong University of TechnologyZiboPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Zibo Key Laboratory of New Drug Development of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Shandong Provincial Research Center for Bioinformatic Engineering and Technique, School of Life SciencesShandong University of TechnologyZiboPeople’s Republic of China

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