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Free Radic Biol Med. 2014 Dec;77:249-57. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.09.017. Epub 2014 Oct 12.

Characterization of the rat oral microbiome and the effects of dietary nitrate.

Author information

1
Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Training Program, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
2
Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Training Program, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
3
Center for Nursing Research, School of Nursing, The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
4
Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
5
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
6
Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, Houston, TX 77054, USA.
7
Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Training Program, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA. Electronic address: jpetrosi@bcm.edu.
8
Texas Therapeutics Institute, Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Electronic address: Nathan.Bryan@uth.tmc.edu.

Abstract

The nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway to nitric oxide (NO) production is a symbiotic pathway in mammals that is dependent on nitrate reducing oral commensal bacteria. Studies suggest that by contributing NO to the mammalian host, the oral microbiome helps maintain cardiovascular health. To begin to understand how changes in oral microbiota affect physiological functions such as blood pressure, we have characterized the Wistar rat nitrate reducing oral microbiome. Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and analysis we compare the native Wistar rat tongue microbiome to that of healthy humans and to that of rats with sodium nitrate and chlorhexidine mouthwash treatments. We demonstrate that the rat tongue microbiome is less diverse than the human tongue microbiome, but that the physiological activity is comparable, as sodium nitrate supplementation significantly lowered diastolic blood pressure in Wistar rats and also lowers blood pressure (diastolic and systolic) in humans. We also show for the first time that sodium nitrate supplementation alters the abundance of specific bacterial species on the tongue. Our results suggest that the changes in oral nitrate reducing bacteria may affect nitric oxide availability and physiological functions such as blood pressure. Understanding individual changes in human oral microbiome may offer novel dietary approaches to restore NO availability and blood pressure.

KEYWORDS:

Denitrification; Nitrate; Nitric oxide; Nitrite; Oral bacteria

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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