Antibiotic-induced changes in microbiome-related metabolites and bile acids in rat plasma

Véronique de Bruijn, Christina Behr, Saskia Sperber, Tilmann Walk, Philipp Ternes, Markus Slopianka, Volker Haake, Karsten Beekmann, Bennard van Ravenzwaay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Various environmental factors can alter the gut microbiome’s composition and functionality, and modulate host health. In this study, the effects of oral and parenteral administration of two poorly bioavailable antibiotics (i.e., vancomycin and streptomycin) on male Wistar Crl/Wi(Han) rats for 28 days were compared to distinguish between microbiome-derived or-associated and systemic changes in the plasma metabolome. The resulting changes in the plasma metabolome were compared to the effects of a third reference compound, roxithromycin, which is readily bioavailable. A community analysis revealed that the oral administration of vancomycin and roxithromycin in particular leads to an altered microbial population. Antibiotic-induced changes depending on the administration routes were observed in plasma metabolite levels. Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and hippuric acid (HA) were identified as key metabolites of microbiome modulation, with HA being the most sensitive. Even though large variations in the plasma bile acid pool between and within rats were observed, the change in microbiome community was observed to alter the composition of the bile acid pool, especially by an accumulation of taurine-conjugated primary bile acids. In-depth investigation of the relationship between microbiome variability and their functionality, with emphasis on the bile acid pool, will be necessary to better assess the potential adverseness of environmentally induced microbiome changes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number242
Number of pages20
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2020


  • Antibiotics
  • Bile acids
  • Metabolomics
  • Microbiome


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