Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Microbiology and Immunology


Dr. Gregor Reid


Heart failure patients face a five-year 50% mortality rate, due to impaired cardiac function and hypertrophy of the heart. Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host. Considering the established cardiovascular benefits of some probiotics, including reduction of cholesterol and hypertension, it was hypothesized that probiotics can improve outcomes of heart failure. Probiotics or controls were administered orally to an animal model for heart failure. Those receiving probiotics showed a significant improvement in cardiac hypertrophy and an attenuation of heart failure compared to control. No changes in gut microbial composition occurred. An in vitro model for cardiomyocyte hypertrophy examined the mechanistic action of probiotics in preventing cardiac hypertrophy. Studies showed that probiotics confer a direct anti-hypertrophic benefit to cardiomyocytes. These results support the hypothesis that probiotics can improve outcomes of heart failure and present a novel treatment strategy for heart failure.

Ettinger_MSc_Thesis_Supervisor_Approval.pdf (459 kB)
Signed supervisor approval for submission