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The Gut Microbiome Is Altered in a Letrozole-Induced Mouse Model of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome


Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have reproductive and metabolic abnormalities that result in an increased risk of infertility, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The large intestine contains a complex community of microorganisms (the gut microbiome) that is dysregulated in humans with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Using a letrozole-induced PCOS mouse model, we demonstrated significant diet-independent changes in the gut microbial community, suggesting that gut microbiome dysbiosis may also occur in PCOS women. Letrozole treatment was associated with a time-dependent shift in the gut microbiome and a substantial reduction in overall species and phylogenetic richness. Letrozole treatment also correlated with significant changes in the abundance of specific Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes previously implicated in other mouse models of metabolic disease in a time-dependent manner. Our results suggest that the hyperandrogenemia observed in PCOS may significantly alter the gut microbiome independently of diet.

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