Maternal Weaning Modulates Emotional Behavior and Regulates the Gut-Brain Axis.
ABSTRACT: Evidence shows that nutritional and environmental stress stimuli during postnatal period influence brain development and interactions between gut and brain. In this study we show that in rats, prevention of weaning from maternal milk results in depressive-like behavior, which is accompanied by changes in the gut bacteria and host metabolism. Depressive-like behavior was studied using the forced-swim test on postnatal day (PND) 25 in rats either weaned on PND 21, or left with their mother until PND 25 (non-weaned). Non-weaned rats showed an increased immobility time consistent with a depressive phenotype. Fluorescence in situ hybridization showed non-weaned rats to harbor significantly lowered Clostridium histolyticum bacterial groups but exhibit marked stress-induced increases. Metabonomic analysis of urine from these animals revealed significant differences in the metabolic profiles, with biochemical phenotypes indicative of depression in the non-weaned animals. In addition, non-weaned rats showed resistance to stress-induced modulation of oxytocin receptors in amygdala nuclei, which is indicative of passive stress-coping mechanism. We conclude that delaying weaning results in alterations to the gut microbiota and global metabolic profiles which may contribute to a depressive phenotype and raise the issue that mood disorders at early developmental ages may reflect interplay between mammalian host and resident bacteria.
Project description:Early-life microbial exposure is of particular importance to growth, immune system development and long-lasting health. Hence, early microbiota composition is a promising predictive biomarker for health and disease but still remains poorly characterized in regards to susceptibility to diarrhoea. In the present study, we aimed to assess if gut bacterial community diversity and composition during the suckling period were associated with differences in susceptibility of pigs to post-weaning diarrhoea. Twenty piglets from 5 sows (4 piglets / litter) were weaned in poor housing conditions to challenge their susceptibility to post-weaning diarrhoea. Two weeks after weaning, 13 pigs exhibited liquid faeces during 2 or 3 days and were defined as diarrhoeic (D) pigs. The other 7 pigs did not have diarrhea during the whole post-weaning experimental periodand were defined as healthy (H) pigs. Using a molecular characterisation of fecal microbiota with CE-SSCP fingerprint, Next Generation Sequencing and qPCR, we show that D and H pigs were mainly discriminated as early as postnatal day (PND) 7, i.e. 4 weeks before post-weaning diarrhoea occurence. At PND 7 H pigs displayed a lower evenness and a higher abundance of Prevotellaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Ruminocacaceae and Lactobacillaceae compared to D pigs. The sPLS regression method indicates that these bacterial families were strongly correlated to a higher Bacteroidetes abundance observed in PND 30 H pigs one week before diarrhoea. These results emphasize the potential of early microbiota diversity and composition as being an indicator of susceptibility to post-weaning diarrhoea. Furthermore, they support the health promoting strategies of pig herds through gut microbiota engineering.
Project description:Severe, repeated or chronic stress produces negative health outcomes including disruptions of the sleep/wake cycle and gut microbial dysbiosis. Diets rich in prebiotics and glycoproteins impact the gut microbiota and may increase gut microbial species that reduce the impact of stress. This experiment tested the hypothesis that consumption of dietary prebiotics, lactoferrin (Lf) and milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) will reduce the negative physiological impacts of stress. Male F344 rats, postnatal day (PND) 24, received a diet with prebiotics, Lf and MFGM (test) or a calorically matched control diet. Fecal samples were collected on PND 35/70/91 for 16S rRNA sequencing to examine microbial composition and, in a subset of rats; Lactobacillus rhamnosus was measured using selective culture. On PND 59, biotelemetry devices were implanted to record sleep/wake electroencephalographic (EEG). Rats were exposed to an acute stressor (100, 1.5 mA, tail shocks) on PND 87 and recordings continued until PND 94. Test diet, compared to control diet, increased fecal Lactobacillus rhamnosus colony forming units (CFU), facilitated non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep consolidation (PND 71/72) and enhanced rapid eye movement (REM) sleep rebound after stressor exposure (PND 87). Rats fed control diet had stress-induced reductions in alpha diversity and diurnal amplitude of temperature, which were attenuated by the test diet (PND 91). Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed a significant linear relationship between early-life Deferribacteres (PND 35) and longer NREM sleep episodes (PND 71/72). A diet containing prebiotics, Lf and MFGM enhanced sleep quality, which was related to changes in gut bacteria and modulated the impact of stress on sleep, diurnal rhythms and the gut microbiota.
Project description:Weaning usually leads to stress in livestock, which has a negative impact on their growth and development. Research on oxidative stress and inflammation induced by weaning has not been reported in goats. Here, we focused on oxidative stress profile and inflammation status of the lower gut (jejunum, ileum, and colon) of goats. First, we illustrated the status of antioxidant activity and inflammation in the intestine of young goats on pre-(2 weeks postnatal, 2 wkpn) or post-(11 wkpn, weaning at day 45 postnatal)-weaned period of young goats. Malondialdehyde (MDA) was higher (p < 0.0001) in jejunum and ileum of the young goats in 11 wkpn than that in 2 wkpn, whereas superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was lower (p = 0.012) in the lower gut of the young goats with 11 wkpn than that in 2 wkpn. Furthermore, we intended to explore the protective influence of a probiotic additive (Lactobacillus plantarum (LAC) P-8, 10 g/d) and a prebiotic additive (Sangrovit®, Macleaya cordata (MAC) extract 3.75% w/w premix, 0.3 g/d) on intestinal oxidative stress and inflammation status of early-weaned young goats (average weights of 5.63 ± 0.30 kg, weaned on d 45 postnatal). We observed that LAC reduced MDA in jejunum and ileum (p < 0.0001), increased SOD activity in ileum (p < 0.01), and increased glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity in jejunum (p < 0.05). Similarly, MAC reduced MDA contents (p < 0.0001), increased SOD activities (p < 0.01) in both of ileum and jejunum, and increased GSH-Px activity (p < 0.05) in jejunum. However, there were no differences in feed intake, average daily gain, inflammation parameters (interleukin 2 and interleukin 6), and colon oxidative stress profile (MDA, SOD, or GSH-Px) among treatments. These results provide evidence that weaning induces oxidative damage in the lower gut of young goats, and the oxidative damage in the small intestine can be reduced by adding the addition of LAC or MAC in diets depending on the region of the lower gut.
Project description:The present study investigated the effect of early life stress in adolescent rats on brain metabolites, serum corticosterone, and depressive-like behavior. A group of rats was subject to early life stress from postnatal day (PND) 1 to 14. A matched control group was studied. Behavioral tests, serum corticosterone and high-resolution proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy were conducted between PND 30 and 40. In this study, adolescent rats exposed to early life stress demonstrated depressive-like behavior and increased serum corticosterone during adolescence. They also showed reduced glutamate, glutamine, and N-acetylaspartate (NAA) levels in the prefrontal cortex. A reduced myo-inositol level, consistent with astroglial deficits, was observed but was not statistically significant. Together, these findings characterize the effect of early life stress on adolescent animals and underscore the long-lasting and detrimental effects of childhood adversities.
Project description:Early weaned piglets are vulnerable to diarrhea because of weaning stress and immaturity of intestinal tract. Compelling evidence suggests that gut microbiota is vital to host health. However, it is not well understood on the composition and succession of piglet gut microbiota during the weaning transition. In our two trials, total 17 commercial piglets were studied in a pig farm in Jiangxi Province, China. Fresh feces were collected for four times (10 days before weaned, weaned day, 10 days after weaned, 21 days after weaned) by rectal massage. Fecal bacterial composition was assessed by 16S rRNA gene V3-V4 regions sequencing by Illumina Miseq platform. The results showed that the gut microbiota of piglets shifted quickly after weaned and reached relatively stable level in 10 days after weaned. The alpha diversity increased significantly with the age of piglets. The microbiota of suckling piglets was mainly represented by Fusobacterium, Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, Escherichia/Shigella, and Megasphaera. This pattern contrasted with that of Clostridium sensu stricto, Roseburia, Paraprevotella, Clostridium XIVa, and Blautia, which were major representative genera after weaned. In summary, we delineated the development of piglet gut microbiota during the weaning transition. This study helps us understand the maturing development of gut microbiota in commercial piglets.
Project description:This study explores the effects of maternal separation as a chronic early life stress (ELS) on pancreatic islets insulin content and secretion, and their potential relationship with the hippocampus insulin content and spatial memory in young adulthood. Male rat offspring were divided into two groups: stress (STR) and non-stress (non-STR) groups. The animals of the STR group were separated from their mothers during postnatal days (PND) 1 to 21. During the weaning time, that is, PND-0 to PND-21, the body weight and length of the pups were measured. Blood samples were collected on PND-1, 21, 29 and 34 and during young adulthood (53±2 days) to determine plasma corticosterone and insulin levels. The young adult animals were also tested for spatial memory. One day after the memory test, the animals were decapitated and their pancreases were removed to measure the islets insulin content and secretion. Finally, the animals' hippocampi were isolated to determine their insulin content and insulin receptor protein amounts. During the period of weaning, the body weight and length of pups belonging to the STR group were significantly lower as compared to those in the non-STR group. Maternal separation did not change the plasma levels of insulin but increased plasma corticosterone levels from PND-21 to young adulthood and also reduced the islets insulin content but did not affect insulin secretion and the hippocampus insulin content and insulin receptor protein amount. Although, at the end of the memory tests, rats of the STR group reached the escape box at almost the same time and distance and with the same errors as rats of the non-STR group, the distance traveled to reach the escape box showed a steep reduction in the non-STR group as compared to the STR group after the first trial. Moreover, as compared to the STR group, the non-STR group showed an increasing trend for direct strategy to find the escape box. The islets insulin content and secretion, and the plasma insulin concentration were not significantly correlated with the hippocampus insulin content. From the results of the present study, it appears that the main behavioral effect of the maternal separation stress in the spatial memory task was to impair the strategy used by the animals to reach the escape box. This may indicate that maternal separation stress affects brain regions other than the hippocampus. Moreover, due to the reduction of the body weight and length of offspring belonging to the STR group, it should be further considered that both maternal separation and early life malnutrition are directly (and mechanistically) linked to cognitive alterations later in life in ways that are not dependent on peripheral and hippocampal insulin content.
Project description:Weaning stress has been reported to impair intestinal health. The gut microbiota plays a vital role in the long-term health of the host. However, our understanding of weaning stress on gut microbiota and barrier function is very limited in livestock species, especially lambs. We investigated the effects of early weaning stress on intestinal bacterial communities and intestinal barrier function in lambs. A total of 24 neonatal male Hu lambs were randomly allocated into two groups, one weaned on day 28 and the other weaned on day 56. At 42 and 84 days, six lambs from each group were randomly selected and sacrificed. Ileal tissue and ileal digesta were collected to compare the differences in ileal microbiota and the mRNA levels of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and tight junction proteins between the early weaning group and the control group at day 42 when the early weaning group have been weaned for 14 days, and at day 84 when the 28 and 56 days weaning groups had been weaned for 56 and 28 days, respectively. 16S rRNA gene sequencing of ileal samples revealed that the ileal microbiota was very different between the two groups, even at 84 days of age. Early weaning significantly increased alpha diversity and altered the relative abundance of several bacterial taxa. The expression of genes related to intestinal barrier function was affected by early weaning. Early weaning significantly increased ileal mRNA levels of TLR1 on days 42 and 84; TLR2, TLR4, and TLR5 on day 84; claudin1 and claudin4 on day 42; and occludin on day 84. We demonstrate that early weaning not only altered the ileal microbiota on day 42 (compared with lambs that were not weaned), but also had lasting effects on the ileal microbiota at day 84; furthermore, early weaning impacts expression levels of genes related to intestinal barrier function.
Project description:Maternal obesity (MO) impairs maternal and offspring health. Mechanisms and interventions to prevent adverse maternal and offspring outcomes need to be determined. Human studies are confounded by socio-economic status providing the rationale for controlled animal data on effects of maternal exercise (MEx) intervention on maternal (F0) and offspring (F1) outcomes in MO.MO produces metabolic and endocrine dysfunction, increases maternal and offspring glucocorticoid exposure, oxidative stress and adverse offspring outcomes by postnatal day (PND) 36. MEx in part prevents these outcomes.F0 female rats ate either control or obesogenic diet from weaning through lactation. Half of each group wheel ran (from day 90 of life through pregnancy beginning day 120) providing four groups (n=8/group)--(i) controls, (ii) obese, (iii) exercised controls and (iv) exercised obese. After weaning, PND 21, F1 offspring ate a control diet. Metabolic parameters of F0 prepregnancy and end of lactation and F1 offspring at PND 36 were analyzed.Exercise did not change maternal weight. Before breeding, MO elevated F0 glucose, insulin, triglycerides, cholesterol, leptin, fat and oxidative stress. Exercise completely prevented the triglyceride rise and partially increases glucose, insulin, cholesterol and oxidative stress. MO decreased fertility, recovered by exercise. At the end of lactation, exercise returned all metabolic variables except leptin to control levels. Exercise partially prevented MO elevated corticosterone. F1 offspring weights were similar at birth. At PND 36, MO increased F1 male but not female offspring leptin, triglycerides and fat mass. In controls, exercise reduced male and female offspring glucose, prevented the offspring leptin increase and partially the triglyceride rise.MEx before and during pregnancy has beneficial effects on the maternal and offspring metabolism and endocrine function occurring with no weight change in mothers and offspring indicating the importance of body composition rather than weight in evaluations of metabolic status.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Female reproductive health is noticeably compromised by obesity. The underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Accumulating evidence indicates that the expression level of ovarian Kiss1 peaks in the afternoon during prooestrus, suggesting local regulatory roles for Kiss1 in the ovulatory process. We used a diet-induced model of obesity to evaluate whether the ovarian Kiss1 system is affected by obesity, and, to investigate the association of the Kiss1 system with ovulatory disorders in female rats. METHODS:Post-weaning, female, Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly fed either a high-fat diet (HFD) or a normal chow diet (NCD) until they reached postnatal day 30 (PND 30), PND 42, or PND 70. The timing of vaginal opening was recorded, and oestrous cyclicity was monitored for 2 consecutive weeks immediately post puberty and again at 8-9 weeks of age. Tissues from the left ovary were collected for determination of the levels of Kiss1 and G protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54) mRNA, and tissues from the right ovary were collected for assessment of the immunoreactivity (IR) of the corresponding protein products, kisspeptin and GPR54. RESULTS:The high-fat diet resulted in a significantly higher body weight and an earlier puberty onset. Oestrous cyclicity was disrupted by the HFD with significant reductions in the expression of ovulation-related genes. A marked suppression of ovarian Kiss1 mRNA levels was observed during prooestrus and oestrus at PND 42, and, during prooestrus, oestrus, and metoestrus at PND 70 in the HFD rats compared with the NCD controls. In the HFD group, the immunoreactivity of kisspeptin was significantly lower in theca cells from antral follicles during prooestrus and oestrus at PND 42, and, during prooestrus, oestrus at PND 70. At the prooestrus stage, in the HFD group the immunoreactivity of kisspeptin was also lower in the theca cells of preovulatory follicles at both PND 42 and PND 70. CONCLUSIONS:Exposure of female rats to an post-weaning, high-fat diet has long-term deleterious effects on ovulation, that may involve down-regulation of ovarian Kiss1 mRNA and kisspeptin.