Inflammation plays an important role in triggering fibrosis of cardiovascular disease and
hypertension. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) has hypotensive effect; GABA concentration could be enhanced in milk fermented with lactic acid bacteria (LAB). This study evaluated the effect of probiotic-fermented purple sweet potato yogurt (PSPY) on the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4)-related inflammatory components, and on fibrosis in the heart of spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR). TLR4- related pathway and fibrosis-associated proteins TGFβ and FGF2 were significantly increased in SHR
hearts, but were highly suppressed in 10% PSPY-fed rats. Microscopic examination with Masson trichrome staining of left ventricle further demonstrated that 10% and 100% PSPY both significantly reduced interstitial fibrosis in SHR hearts. These findings indicated that oral administration of 10% probiotic-fermented PSPY was strong enough to lower cardiac fibrosis in SHR rats through the suppression of TLR-4-related inflammatory pathway. Therefore, PSPY may be included in diets to help prevent cardiac fibrosis in patients with hypertension.