Monotonous diets protect against acute colitis in mice: epidemiologic and therapeutic implications

Published Research

Multiple characteristics of industrialization have been proposed to contribute to the global emergence of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs: Crohn disease [CD] and ulcerative colitis [UC]). Major changes in eating habits during the past decades and the effectiveness of exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) in the treatment of CD indicate the etiologic importance of dietary intake in IBDs. A uniform characteristic of nutrition in developing countries (where the incidence of IBD is low) and EEN is their consistent nature over prolonged periods. However, the potentially beneficial effect of dietary monotony in respect to mammalian intestinal inflammation has not been examined.

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Microbiota modulate behavioral and physiological abnormalities associated with neurodevelopmental disorders

Published Research

Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are defined by core behavioral impairments; however, subsets of individuals display a spectrum of gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities. We demonstrate GI barrier defects and microbiota alterations in the maternal immune activation (MIA) mouse model that is known to display features of ASD. Oral treatment of MIA offspring with the human commensal Bacteroides fragilis corrects gut permeability, alters microbial composition, and ameliorates defects in communicative, stereotypic, anxiety-like and sensorimotor behaviors. MIA offspring display an altered serum metabolomic profile, and B. fragilis modulates levels of several metabolites. Treating naive mice with a metabolite that is increased by MIA and restored by B. fragilis causes certain behavioral abnormalities, suggesting that gut bacterial effects on the host metabolome impact behavior. Taken together, these findings support a gut-microbiome-brain connection in a mouse model of ASD and identify a potential probiotic therapy for GI and particular behavioral symptoms in human neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Maternal micronutrients can modify colonic mucosal microbiota maturation in murine offspring

Published Research

Epidemiologic data suggest that early nutritional exposures may inflict persistent changes in the developing mammalian “super-organism” (i.e., the host and its residing microbiota). Such persistent modifications could predispose young adults to inflammatory bowel Diseases (IBD). We recently observed that the dietary supplementation of four micronutrients to dams augmented colitis susceptibility in murine offspring in association with mucosal microbiota composition changes. In this study, the effects of the four micronutrients on the microbiota of dams and female mice was examined. Additionally, age dependent microbiota composition shifts during pediagric development were delineated from the previous offspring data sets. Maternal and adult female microbiota did not separate secondary to the nutritional intervention. Significant microbiota composition changes occurred from postnatal day 30 (P30) to P90 at the leve of 1 phylum and 15 genera. Most of these changes were absent or opposite in the maternally supplemented offspring. Nutritionally induced alterations in mucosal microbiota maturation may be contributors to colitis susceptibility in mammals.

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