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The Effects of a High-Fat/Cholesterol Diet on the Intestine of Rats Were Attenuated by Sparassis latifolia Polysaccharides

Xin Wei1orcid tiny, Yuan Gao1orcid tiny, Feier Cheng1orcid tiny, Shaojun Yun1orcid tiny, Mingchang Chang1,2orcid tiny, Jinling Cao1orcid tiny, Yanfen Cheng1orcid tiny and Cuiping Feng1*orcid tiny

1College of Food Science and Engineering, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu 030801, Shanxi, PR China

2Shanxi Research Station for Engineering Technology of Edible Fungi, Taigu 030801, Shanxi, PR China

Article history:

Received: 17 November 2021

Accepted: 28 September 2022

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Sparassis latifolia polysaccharides; intestinal cholesterol metabolism disorder; gut microbiota; short-chain fatty acids


Research background. Sparassis latifolia polysaccharides can regulate lipids and cholesterol in serum and liver. However, little is known about the regulation mechanism of the polysaccharides on cholesterol metabolism and especially the causal relationship with gut microbiota regulation. This study will provide a theoretical basis for the cholesterol-lowering mechanism of Sparassis latifolia polysaccharides and further development of functional foods.

Experimental approach. In this study, we investigated how the regulation mechanism of Sparassis latifolia polysaccharides affects intestinal cholesterol metabolism in high-fat and high-cholesterol diet-fed rats. Briefly, enzyme colorimetric microplate assay was used to determine the concentration of faecal bile acid. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to detect the content of cholesterol and alcohol in faeces. Haematoxylin and eosin staining method was applied to observe the changes in the structure of the small intestine tissue. The related gene expressions in jejunum and ileum were detected by real-time fluorescent quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The related protein expressions in jejunum were studied by using Western blot. High-throughput sequencing was used to detect the intestinal flora changes of the caecal contents. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was applied to detect the concentration of short-chain fatty acids in the caecal content.

Results and conclusions. The results showed that Sparassis latifolia polysaccharides could improve the intestinal morphological structure and physiological indices in rats fed high-fat and high-cholesterol diet. Moreover, it could improve intestinal cholesterol metabolism disorder induced by high-fat and high-cholesterol diets via the reduction of the expression of HMGCR, NPC1L1, ACAT2, MTP, ASBT and IBABP mRNA or protein, increasing ABCG8 mRNA expression. In addition, it could also increase the relative abundance of Bacteroides, Butyricicoccus, Parabacteroides, Parasutteerella and Alloprevotella and the short-chain fatty acid concentration, to comprehensively regulate the intestinal cholesterol metabolism. The metabolomics analysis found that Sparassis latifolia polysaccharides could affect lipid, carbohydrate and other related metabolites. Some biomarkers associated with cholesterol metabolism correlated significantly with the abundance of specific intestinal microbiota.

Novelty and scientific contribution. These findings indicate that Sparassis latifolia polysaccharides could attenuate intestinal cholesterol metabolism disorder, correlating with modulating gut microbiota and improving host metabolism. They provide theoretical support for the development of Sparassis latifolia as a new food resource.

*Corresponding author: +13835498063

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