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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2018, Article ID 7261619, 14 pages
Research Article

Modulation of the Gut Microbiota in Rats by Hugan Qingzhi Tablets during the Treatment of High-Fat-Diet-Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

1Department of Pharmacy, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangdong, Guangzhou 510282, China
2School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
3Department of Pharmacy, Shantou Central Hospital, Affiliated Shantou Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Shantou, 515041 Guangdong, China
4Department of Pharmacy, The Seventh Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Shenzhen, 518107 Guangdong, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Benjie Zhou; moc.361@361jbuohz and Qiang Liu; nc.ude.ums@gnaiquil

Received 15 July 2018; Revised 12 October 2018; Accepted 25 October 2018; Published 23 December 2018

Guest Editor: Mohamed M. Abdel-Daim

Copyright © 2018 Waijiao Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Accumulative evidence showed that gut microbiota was important in regulating the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Hugan Qingzhi tablet (HQT), a lipid-lowering and anti-inflammatory medicinal formula, has been used to prevent and treat NAFLD. However, its mechanism of action is unknown. The aim of this study was to confirm whether HQT reversed the gut microbiota dysbiosis in NAFLD rats. Methods. We established an NAFLD model of rats fed with a high-fat diet (HFD), which was given different interventions, and measured the level of liver biochemical indices and inflammatory factors. Liver tissues were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and oil red O. Changes in the gut microbiota composition were analyzed using 16S rRNA sequencing. Results. The hepatic histology and biochemical data displayed that HQT exhibited protective effects on HFD-induced rats. Moreover, HQT also reduced the abundance of the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio in HFD-fed rats and modified the gut microbial species at the genus level, increasing the abundances of gut microbiota which were reported to have an effect on relieving NAFLD, such as Ruminococcaceae, Bacteroidales_S24-7_group, Bifidobacteria, Alistipes, and Anaeroplasma, and significantly inhibiting the relative abundance of Enterobacteriaceae, Streptococcus, Holdemanella, Allobaculum, and Blautia, which were reported to be potentially related to NAFLD. Spearman’s correlation analysis found that [Ruminococcus]_gauvreauii_group, Lachnoclostridium, Blautia, Allobaculum, and Holdemanella exhibited significant () positive correlations with triglyceride, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, interleukin-6, interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and body weight and negative correlations with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (). The norank_f__Bacteroidales_S24-7_group and Alistipes showed an opposite trend. Moreover, the HQT could promote flavonoid biosynthesis compared with the HFD group. Conclusion. In summary, the HQT has potential applications in the prevention and treatment of NAFLD, which may be closely related to its modulatory effect on the gut microbiota.