The gut microbiome in hypertension: recent advances and future perspectives


  • E.G. Avery
  • H. Bartolomaeus
  • A. Maifeld
  • L. Marko
  • H. Wiig
  • N. Wilck
  • S.P. Rosshart
  • S.K. Forslund
  • D.N. Muller


  • Circulation Research


  • Circ Res 128 (7): 934-950


  • The pathogenesis of hypertension is known to involve a diverse range of contributing factors including genetic, environmental, hormonal, hemodynamic and inflammatory forces, to name a few. There is mounting evidence to suggest that the gut microbiome plays an important role in the development and pathogenesis of hypertension. The gastrointestinal tract, which houses the largest compartment of immune cells in the body, represents the intersection of the environment and the host. Accordingly, lifestyle factors shape and are modulated by the microbiome, modifying the risk for hypertensive disease. One well-studied example is the consumption of dietary fibers, which leads to the production of short-chain fatty acids and can contribute to the expansion of anti-inflammatory immune cells, consequently protecting against the progression of hypertension. Dietary interventions such as fasting have also been shown to impact hypertension via the microbiome. Studying the microbiome in hypertensive disease presents a variety of unique challenges to the use of traditional model systems. Integrating microbiome considerations into preclinical research is crucial, and novel strategies to account for reciprocal host-microbiome interactions, such as the wildling mouse model, may provide new opportunities for translation. The intricacies of the role of the microbiome in hypertensive disease is a matter of ongoing research, and there are several technical considerations which should be accounted for moving forward. In this review we provide insights into the host-microbiome interaction and summarize the evidence of its importance in the regulation of blood pressure. Additionally, we provide recommendations for ongoing and future research, such that important insights from the microbiome field at large can be readily integrated in the context of hypertension.