Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 5 pp 7589—7607
Fecal microbiota transplantation mitigates vaginal atrophy in ovariectomized mice
- 1 Cancer Biology Research Center, Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, Hubei, People’s Republic of China
- 2 Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, Hubei, People’s Republic of China
- 3 Department of Gynecology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, Hubei, People’s Republic of China
Received: June 24, 2020 Accepted: November 10, 2020 Published: February 26, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.202627
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) is a common menopause-related symptom affecting more than 50% of midlife and older women and cancer patients whose ovarian function are lost or damaged. Regardless of estrogen deficiency, whether other factors such as the gut microbiota play role in VVA have not been thoroughly investigated. To this end, we performed ovariectomy on 12-weeks’ old mice and follow-up at 4 weeks after ovariectomy, and observed atrophied vagina and an altered gut microbiota in ovariectomized mice.. We further performed fecal microbiota transplantation with feces from another cohort of ovary-intact fecund female mice to the ovariectomized ones, and found that the vaginal epithelial atrophy was significantly alleviated as well as the gut microbiota was pointedly changed. All these results suggest that ovarian activity has some influence on the gut microbiota, and the latter from the ovary-intact female mice can somehow make the vagina of mice deficient in ovarian function healthier maybe by up-expressing ESR1 in vaginal cells and enhancing regeneration in vagina. This kind of association between gut microbiota and vaginal health need further exploration such that it may provide an alternative treatment by modulating gut microbiota in patients suffering from VVA but may be reluctant to hormone therapy.
E1: Estrone; E2: Estradiol; ESR1: estrogen receptor alpha; FMT: fecal microbiota transplantation; GSM: Genitourinary syndrome of menopause; LEfSe: Linear discriminant analysis Effect Size analysis; PCA: principal component analysis; PCNA: proliferating cell nuclear antigen; PLS-DA: partial least squares discrimination analysis; One-way ANOVA: one-way analysis of variance; OVX group: bilateral ovariectomy group; OVX+FMT group: bilateral ovariectomy group with fecal suspension lavage; OVX+NST group: bilateral ovariectomy group with normal saline lavage; OTU: Operational Taxonomic Units; Sham group: sham operated group; Sham+FMT group: sham operated group with fecal suspension lavage; Sham+NST group: sham operated group with normal saline lavage; VVA: Vulvovaginal atrophy.