The mammalian mucosal surfaces are densely inhabited by a diverse microbial ecosystem termed the microbiota. Among these highly heterogeneous populations, the largest and richest is the gut microbiota, recently suggested to affect various physiological traits and susceptibility to disease. Novel metagenomic and metabolomic approaches, which have been developed in the past decade, have enabled the elucidation of the contribution of the microbiota to metabolic, immunologic, neurologic and endocrine homeostasis.
Dysbiosis, the alteration in the gut microbiota composition and function, has been lately associated with the pathogenesis of multifactorial diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Recent studies have also suggested associations between dysbiosis and essential hypertension, a common chronic medical condition affecting 20% or more of the adult population worldwide, which is considered a major causative factor for heart disease, stroke, chronic renal failure, blindness and dementia.
In this review, we discuss the accumulating research pointing to possible interplays between the gut microbiome and hypertension and highlight future prospects by which utilization of microbiome-related techniques may be incorporated into the diagnosis and therapeutic arsenal of hypertension management.
aDepartment of Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
bNephrology and Hypertension, Hadassah – Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel
Correspondence to Eran Elinav, MD, PhD, Department of Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, 100 Herzl Street, Rehovot 76100, Israel. Tel: +972 8 9344014; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org