Cognitive dysfunction after heart failure (HF) is characterized by neuroinflammation, which plays an important role in the occurrence and development of cognitive dysfunction. Recent studies have shown that an intestinal flora imbalance may also trigger neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease. The present study was designed to reveal that intestinal flora dysbiosis caused by HF aggravates neuroinflammation-associated cognitive impairment.
Adult male SD rats were fed daily for 2 weeks with probiotics or placebo until the day of surgery. HF was then triggered by 8 weeks of sustained coronary artery occlusion. 16S rDNA sequencing was used to confirm intestinal flora dysbiosis after HF and demonstrate that the changes paralleled intestinal pathology scores. The permeability of the blood-brain barrier was increased after HF, and such an increase in permeability may increase the levels of inflammatory cytokines caused by intestinal flora disorders. The changes in the intestinal flora caused by probiotics significantly reduced the level of neuroinflammation. In addition, probiotic administration considerably improved the impaired spatial memory in HF rats.
We conclude that intestinal flora dysbiosis plays a potential role in aggravating the impaired cognition associated with neuroinflammation and that these effects may be attenuated by probiotics.

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