Probiotics Study demonstrates promise of engineering gut bacteria to treat hypertension (Oct 2023) Genetically engineered Lactobacillus paracasei rescues colonic angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and attenuates hypertension in female Ace2 knock out rats.

Michael Harrop

Active member
Jul 6, 2023


Engineered gut microbiota represents a new frontier in medicine, in part serving as a vehicle for the delivery of therapeutic biologics to treat a range of host conditions. The gut microbiota plays a significant role in blood pressure regulation; thus, manipulation of gut microbiota is a promising avenue for hypertension treatment. In this study, we tested the potential of Lactobacillus paracasei, genetically engineered to produce and deliver human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (Lacto-hACE2), to regulate blood pressure in a rat model of hypertension with genetic ablation of endogenous Ace2 (Ace2-/- and Ace2-/y). Our findings reveal a sex-specific reduction in blood pressure in female (Ace2-/-) but not male (Ace2-/y) rats following colonization with the Lacto-hACE2. This beneficial effect of lowering blood pressure was aligned with a specific reduction in colonic angiotensin II, but not renal angiotensin II, suggesting the importance of colonic Ace2 in the regulation of blood pressure. We conclude that this approach of targeting the colon with engineered bacteria for delivery of ACE2 represents a promising new paradigm in the development of antihypertensive therapeutics.
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