Relationship Between Plasma Lipopolysaccharides, Gut Microbiota, and Dementia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Naoki Saji, Yoshihiro Saito, Tomoya Yamashita, Kenta Murotani, Tsuyoshi Tsuduki, Takayoshi Hisada, Taiki Sugimoto, Shumpei Niida, Kenji Toba, Takashi Sakurai

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Previous studies have demonstrated associations between gut microbiota, microbial metabolites, and cognitive decline. However, relationships between these factors and lipopolysaccharides (LPS; molecules of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria) remain controversial. Objective: To evaluate associations between plasma LPS, gut microbiota, and cognitive function. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional sub-analysis of data of 127 participants (women: 58%, mean age: 76 years) from our prospective cohort study regarding the relationship between gut microbiota and cognitive function. We enrolled patients who visited our memory clinic and assessed demographics, dementia-related risk factors, cognitive function, brain imaging, gut microbiomes, and microbial metabolites. We evaluated relationships between cognitive decline and plasma LPS using multivariable logistic regression analyses. Results: Plasma LPS concentration increased with increasing degree of cognitive decline and total cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) score (Kruskal-Wallis test; p = 0.016 and 0.007, respectively). Participants with high plasma LPS concentrations tended to have lower concentrations of gut microbial metabolites, such as lactic acid and acetic acid, and were less likely to consume fish and shellfish (44.7% versus 69.6%, p = 0.027) than those with low plasma LPS concentrations. Multivariable analyses revealed that plasma LPS concentration was independently associated with the presence of mild cognitive impairment in participants without dementia (odds ratio: 2.09, 95% confidence interval: 1.14-3.84, p = 0.007). Conclusion: In this preliminary study, plasma LPS concentration was associated with both cognitive decline and cerebral SVD and significantly correlated with beneficial gut microbial metabolites. Plasma LPS may be a risk factor for cognitive decline.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1947-1957
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


    • Biomarkers
    • cerebral small vessel disease
    • cognitive decline
    • dementia
    • gut microbiota

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuroscience(all)
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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