An intermittent hypercaloric diet alters gut microbiota, prefrontal cortical gene expression and social behaviours in rats

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Reviewed Marked as Reviewed by Shaimaa Elsafoury on 2021/02/09
study design
PMID PubMed identifier for scientific articles.
DOI Digital object identifier for electronic documents.
Reichelt AC, Loughman A, Bernard A, Raipuria M, Abbott KN, Dachtler J, Van TTH, Moore RJ
Nutritional neuroscience
Adolescence, Diet, Memory, Microbiota, Obesity, Social interaction
OBJECTIVES: Excessive consumption of high fat and high sugar (HFHS) diets alters reward processing, behaviour, and changes gut microbiota profiles. Previous studies in gnotobiotic mice also provide evidence that these gut microorganisms may influence social behaviour. To further investigate these interactions, we examined the impact of the intermittent access to a HFHS diet on social behaviour, gene expression and microbiota composition in adolescent rats. METHODS: Male rats were permitted intermittent daily access (2 h / day) to a palatable HFHS chow diet for 28 days across adolescence. Social interaction, social memory and novel object recognition were assessed during this period. Following testing, RT-PCR was conducted on hippocampal and prefrontal cortex (PFC) samples. 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing was used for identification and relative quantification of bacterial taxa in faecal samples. RESULTS: We observed reduced social interaction behaviours, impaired social memory and novel object recognition in HFHS diet rats compared to chow controls. RT-PCR revealed reduced levels of monoamine oxidase A (Maoa), catechol-O-methyltransferase (Comt) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) mRNA in the PFC of HFHS diet rats. Faecal microbiota analysis demonstrated that the relative abundance of a number of specific bacterial taxa differed significantly between the two diet groups, in particular, Lachnospiraceae and Ruminoccoceae bacteria. DISCUSSION: Intermittent HFHS diet consumption evoked physiological changes to the brain, particularly expression of mRNA associated with reward and neuroplasticity, and gut microbiome. These changes may underpin the observed alterations to social behaviours.

Experiment 1

Reviewed Marked as Reviewed by Shaimaa Elsafoury on 2021/02/09

Curated date: 2021/01/10

Curator: WikiWorks

Revision editor(s): WikiWorks


Location of subjects
Host species Species from which microbiome was sampled. Contact us to have more species added.
Rattus norvegicus
Body site Anatomical site where microbial samples were extracted from according to the Uber Anatomy Ontology
Feces Cow dung,Cow pat,Droppings,Dung,Excrement,Excreta,Faeces,Fecal material,Fecal matter,Fewmet,Frass,Guano,Matières fécales@fr,Merde@fr,Ordure,Partie de la merde@fr,Piece of shit,Porción de mierda@es,Portion of dung,Portion of excrement,Portion of faeces,Portion of fecal material,Portion of fecal matter,Portion of feces,Portion of guano,Portion of scat,Portionem cacas,Scat,Spoor,Spraint,Stool,Teil der fäkalien@de,Feces,feces
Condition The experimental condition / phenotype studied according to the Experimental Factor Ontology
Obesity Adiposis,Adiposity,Obese,Obese (finding),obesity,Obesity (disorder),Obesity [Ambiguous],obesity disease,obesity disorder,Obesity NOS,Obesity, unspecified,Overweight and obesity,Obesity
Group 0 name Corresponds to the control (unexposed) group for case-control studies
control rats
Group 1 name Corresponds to the case (exposed) group for case-control studies
Rats fed HFHS
Group 0 sample size Number of subjects in the control (unexposed) group
Group 1 sample size Number of subjects in the case (exposed) group

Lab analysis

Sequencing type
16S variable region One or more hypervariable region(s) of the bacterial 16S gene
Sequencing platform Manufacturer and experimental platform used for quantifying microbial abundance

Statistical Analysis

Statistical test
Significance threshold p-value or FDR threshold used for differential abundance testing (if any)
MHT correction Have statistical tests be corrected for multiple hypothesis testing (MHT)?

Alpha Diversity

Shannon Estimator of species richness and species evenness: more weight on species richness
Chao1 Abundance-based estimator of species richness
Simpson Estimator of species richness and species evenness: more weight on species evenness
Richness Number of species

Signature 1

Reviewed Marked as Reviewed by Shaimaa Elsafoury on 2021/02/09

Curated date: 2021/01/10

Curator: Marianthi Thomatos

Revision editor(s): WikiWorks

Source: Figure 3a & 3b

Description: Relative abundance of rats fed high fat and high surgar diet (HFHS) VS. Controls

Abundance in Group 1: increased abundance in Rats fed HFHS

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Revision editor(s): WikiWorks