Effect of differences in the microbiome of cyp17a1-deficient mice on atherosclerotic background

Axel Künstner, Redouane Aherrahrou, Misa Hirose, Petra Bruse, Saleh Mohamed Ibrahim, Hauke Busch, Jeanette Erdmann, Zouhair Aherrahrou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


CYP17A1 is a cytochrome P450 enzyme that has 17-alpha-hydroxylase and C17,20-lyase activities. Cyp17a11 deficiency is associated with high body mass and visceral fat deposition in ath-erosclerotic female ApoE knockout (KO, d/d or-/-) mice. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effects of diet and Cyp17a1 genotype on the gut microbiome. Female Cyp17a1 (d/d) x ApoE (d/d) (DKO) and ApoE (d/d) (controls) were fed either standard chow or a Western-type diet (WTD), and we demonstrated the effects of genetics and diet on the body mass of the mice and composition of their gut microbiome. We found a significantly lower alpha diversity after accounting for the ecological network structure in DKO mice and WTD-fed mice compared with chow-fed ApoE(d/d). Furthermore, we found a strong significant positive association of the Firmicutes vs. Bac-teroidota ratio with body mass and the circulating total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations of the mice when feeding the WTD, independent of the Cyp17a1 genotype. Further pathway enrich-ment and network analyses revealed a substantial effect of Cyp17a1 genotype on associated cardiovascular and obesity-related pathways involving aspartate and L-arginine. Future studies are required to validate these findings and further investigate the role of aspartate/L-arginine pathways in the obesity and body fat distribution in our mouse model.

Original languageBritish English
Article number1292
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary Artery disease
  • Cyp17a1
  • Disorders of Sex Development
  • Knockout
  • Microbiota
  • Mouse
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Obesity


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