Sex-related alterations of gut microbiota composition in the BTBR mouse model of autism spectrum disorder.
ABSTRACT: Alterations of microbiota-gut-brain axis have been invoked in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Mouse models could represent an excellent tool to understand how gut dysbiosis and related alterations may contribute to autistic phenotype. In this study we paralleled gut microbiota (GM) profiles, behavioral characteristics, intestinal integrity and immunological features of colon tissues in BTBR T?+?tf/J (BTBR) inbred mice, a well established animal model of ASD. Sex differences, up to date poorly investigated in animal models, were specifically addressed. Results showed that BTBR mice of both sexes presented a marked intestinal dysbiosis, alterations of behavior, gut permeability and immunological state with respect to prosocial C57BL/6j (C57) strain. Noticeably, sex-related differences were clearly detected. We identified Bacteroides, Parabacteroides, Sutterella, Dehalobacterium and Oscillospira genera as key drivers of sex-specific gut microbiota profiles associated with selected pathological traits. Taken together, our findings indicate that alteration of GM in BTBR mice shows relevant sex-associated differences and supports the use of BTBR mouse model to dissect autism associated microbiota-gut-brain axis alteration.
Project description:Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the most prevalent neurodevelopmental conditions worldwide. There is growing awareness that ASD is highly comorbid with gastrointestinal distress and altered intestinal microbiome, and that host-microbiome interactions may contribute to the disease symptoms. However, the paucity of knowledge on gut-brain axis signaling in autism constitutes an obstacle to the development of precision microbiota-based therapeutics in ASD. To this end, we explored the interactions between intestinal microbiota, gut physiology and social behavior in a BTBR T<sup>+</sup>Itpr3<sup>tf</sup>/J mouse model of ASD. Here we show that a reduction in the relative abundance of very particular bacterial taxa in the BTBR gut - namely, bile-metabolizing Bifidobacterium and Blautia species, - is associated with deficient bile acid and tryptophan metabolism in the intestine, marked gastrointestinal dysfunction, as well as impaired social interactions in BTBR mice. Together these data support the concept of targeted manipulation of the gut microbiota for reversing gastrointestinal and behavioral symptomatology in ASD, and offer specific plausible targets in this endeavor.
Project description:The link between gut microbes and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been already observed in some studies, but some bacterial families/species were found to be inconsistently up or down regulated. This issue has been rarely explored in the Chinese population. In this study, we assessed whether or not gut microbiota dysbiosis was associated with children with ASD in China. We enrolled 45 children with ASD (6-9 years of age; 39 boys and 6 girls) and 45 sex- and age-matched neurotypical children. Dietary and other socio-demographic information was obtained via questionnaires. We characterized the composition of the fecal microbiota using bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene sequencing. The ASD group showed less diversity and richness of gut microbiota than the neurotypical group, as estimated by the abundance-based coverage estimator index and the phylogenetic diversity index. The analysis of beta diversity showed an altered microbial community structure in the ASD group. After adjustment for confounders and multiple testing corrections, no significant group difference was found in the relative abundance of microbiota on the level of the phylum. At the family level, children with ASD had a lower relative abundance of Acidaminococcaceae than the healthy controls. Moreover, a decrease in the relative abundance of genera Lachnoclostridium, Tyzzerella subgroup 4, Flavonifractor, and unidentified Lachnospiraceae was observed in ASD group. This study provides further evidence of intestinal microbial dysbiosis in ASD and sheds light on the characteristics of the gut microbiome of autistic children in China.
Project description:Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of neurodevelopmental conditions that are sharply increasing in prevalence worldwide. Intriguingly, ASD is often accompanied by an array of systemic aberrations including (1) increased serotonin, (2) various modes of gastrointestinal disorders, and (3) inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), albeit the underlying cause for such comorbidities remains uncertain. Also, accumulating number of studies report that the gut microbial composition is significantly altered in children with ASD or patients with IBD. Surprisingly, when we analyzed the gut microbiota of poly I:C and VPA-induced mouse models of ASD, we found a distinct pattern of microbial dysbiosis that highly recapitulated those reported in clinical cases of ASD and IBD. Moreover, we report that such microbial dysbiosis led to notable perturbations in microbial metabolic pathways that are known to negatively affect the host, especially with regards to the pathogenesis of ASD and IBD. Lastly, we found that serum level of serotonin is significantly increased in both poly I:C and VPA mice, and that it correlates with increases of a bacterial genus and a metabolic pathway that are implicated in stimulation of host serotonin production. Our results using animal model identify prenatal environmental risk factors of autism as possible causative agents of IBD-related gut microbial dysbiosis in ASD, and suggest a multifaceted role of gut microbiota in the systemic pathogenesis of ASD and hyperserotonemia.
Project description:Atrial fibrillation (AF) has been shown to be associated with disordered gut microbiota (GM). The underlying factors governing persistent AF (psAF) are not well understood, and the association between AF duration and GM profiles remains to be characterized. Thus, the present study aimed at investigating the dysbiosis of GM in patients with short and long psAF duration and illuminating the relationship between the GM and psAF maintenance. Based on metagenomic sequencing and metabolomic analyses, we assessed the metabolic and GM signature in 12 patients with psAF of <12?months (Pers<12m), eight patients with psAF of >12?months (Pers>12m), and 20 controls. We found that the GM in patients with both Pers<12m and Pers>12m was significantly perturbed, with an elevated microbial diversity, distinct structure, and discrepant composition. Although Pers<12m and Pers>12m patients shared a large number of common bacteria with controls, including 84 genera and 404 species, certain bacteria were differently enriched at different AF durations. Furthermore, disturbance in gut microbial function and GM-linked metabolic alterations were detected in both the Pers<12m and Pers>12m groups. The connection of GM and metabolites with psAF is consistent with interaction and potential modulation of host metabolic pathways due to GM dysbiosis with AF persistence. Our results showed that patients of the Pers<12m and Pers>12m groups shared many common disordered GM and metabolic features, which might occur in early disease, while prolonged psAF duration was related to certain unique alterations. Preventative strategies targeting GM and microbial metabolites for early intervention to treat AF patients are highly warranted.IMPORTANCE Atrial fibrillation was associated with a disordered gut microbiota in previous research. However, the gut microbiota signature of patients at different stages of atrial fibrillation remains largely unknown. We sought to determine whether the shift in the gut microbiota and metabolic profiles occurs early and remains stable or develops gradually during atrial fibrillation. We found that patients with persistent atrial fibrillation of <12?months and persistent atrial fibrillation of >12?months shared most of the common features of gut microbiota dysbiosis. However, some distinctive and progressive alterations in the gut microbiota and metabolic structure, which may contribute to the progression of atrial fibrillation, were identified. The present study provides a comprehensive description of the dysbiotic gut microbiota and metabolic profiles in patients of short and long persistent atrial fibrillation, and our findings may help identify therapeutic strategies targeting the gut microbiota to treat atrial fibrillation at an early stage.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a public health problem and has a prevalence of 0.6%-1.7% in children. As well as psychiatric symptoms, dysbiosis and gastrointestinal comorbidities are also frequently reported. The gut-brain microbiota axis suggests that there is a form of communication between microbiota and the brain underlying some neurological disabilities. The aim of this study is to describe and compare the composition of gut microbiota in children with and without ASD. METHODS:Electronic databases were searched as far as February 2020. Meta-analyses were performed using RevMan5.3 to estimate the overall relative abundance of gut bacteria belonging to 8 phyla and 17 genera in children with ASD and controls. RESULTS:We included 18 studies assessing a total of 493 ASD children and 404 controls. The microbiota was mainly composed of the phyla Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria, all of which were more abundant in the ASD children than in the controls. Children with ASD showed a significantly higher abundance of the genera Bacteroides, Parabacteroides, Clostridium, Faecalibacterium, and Phascolarctobacterium and a lower percentage of Coprococcus and Bifidobacterium. DISCUSSION:This meta-analysis suggests that there is a dysbiosis in ASD children which may influence the development and severity of ASD symptomatology. Further studies are required in order to obtain stronger evidence of the effectiveness of pre- or probiotics in reducing autistic behaviors.
Project description:The gut microbiota (GM) is defined as the community of microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, fungi, viruses) colonizing the gastrointestinal tract. GM regulates various metabolic pathways in the host, including those involved in energy homeostasis, glucose and lipid metabolism, and bile acid metabolism. The relationship between alterations in intestinal microbiota and diseases associated with civilization is well documented. GM dysbiosis is involved in the pathogenesis of diverse diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and neurological disorders. Multiple factors modulate the composition of the microbiota and how it physically functions, but one of the major factors triggering GM establishment is diet. In this paper, we reviewed the current knowledge about the relationship between nutrition, gut microbiota, and host metabolic status. We described how macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fat) and different dietary patterns (e.g., Western-style diet, vegetarian diet, Mediterranean diet) interact with the composition and activity of GM, and how gut bacterial dysbiosis has an influence on metabolic disorders, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.
Project description:Background:As more animal studies start to disentangle pathways linking the gut microbial ecosystem and neurobehavioral traits, human studies have grown rapidly. Many have since investigated the bidirectional communication between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system, specifically on the effects of microbial composition on the brain and development. Methods:Our review at the initial stage aimed to evaluate literature on gut microbial alterations in pediatric neurobehavioral conditions. We searched five literature databases (Embase, PubMed, PsychInfo, Scopus, and Medline) and found 4489 published work. As the mechanisms linking gut microbiota to these conditions are divergent, the scope of this review was narrowed to focus on describing gut dysbiosis in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Results:Among the final 26 articles, there was a lack of consistency in the reported gut microbiome changes across ASD studies, except for distinguishable patterns, within limits, for Prevotella, Firmicutes at the phylum level, Clostridiales clusters including Clostridium perfringens, and Bifidobacterium species. Conclusions:These results were inadequate to confirm a global microbiome change in children with ASD and causality could not be inferred to explain the etiology of the behaviors associated with ASD. Mechanistic studies are needed to elucidate the specific role of the gut microbiome in the pathogenesis of ASD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is more prevalent in male than female individuals. Very few studies have examined sex modulations of brain anatomical differences between individuals with ASD and typically developing (TD) individuals, especially in children. The current study aimed to identify sex-dependent and/or sex-independent neuroanatomical mechanisms underlying ASD. METHODS:Magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange. A 2 (diagnosis) × 2 (sex) design was used. Subjects whose ages were between 6 and 20 years were included for analysis, with matched full-scale IQ between groups for each dataset. The resulting effective numbers of subjects were 36 female subjects with ASD, 54 TD female subjects, 182 male subjects with ASD, and 172 TD male subjects. Twenty independent gray matter (GM) and 20 white matter (WM) volume sources were estimated using source-based morphometry. RESULTS:Among all the independent GM and WM sources, none of them showed a significant diagnosis by sex interaction. One GM source of the bilateral inferior and middle temporal lobe showed a significantly larger volume in ASD than TD individuals and in male than in female subjects. This diagnosis effect was age sensitive and was present only in participants between 8 and 14 years of age. CONCLUSIONS:Only sex-independent, large-scale neuroanatomical alterations could be observed in children with ASD. The directionality of bilateral temporal GM alterations was in line with the prediction of the extreme male brain hypothesis, supporting the view that similar neurobiological mechanisms may drive sexual dimorphism and the onset of ASD.
Project description:Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) manifests as alterations in complex human behaviors including social communication and stereotypies. In addition to genetic risks, the gut microbiome differs between typically developing (TD) and ASD individuals, though it remains unclear whether the microbiome contributes to symptoms. We transplanted gut microbiota from human donors with ASD or TD controls into germ-free mice and reveal that colonization with ASD microbiota is sufficient to induce hallmark autistic behaviors. The brains of mice colonized with ASD microbiota display alternative splicing of ASD-relevant genes. Microbiome and metabolome profiles of mice harboring human microbiota predict that specific bacterial taxa and their metabolites modulate ASD behaviors. Indeed, treatment of an ASD mouse model with candidate microbial metabolites improves behavioral abnormalities and modulates neuronal excitability in the brain. We propose that the gut microbiota regulates behaviors in mice via production of neuroactive metabolites, suggesting that gut-brain connections contribute to the pathophysiology of ASD.
Project description:Intestinal microorganisms impact on health maintaining gut homeostasis and shaping the host immunity, while gut dysbiosis associates with many conditions including autism, a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with multifactorial aetiology. In autism, gut dysbiosis correlates with symptom severity and is characterized by a reduced bacterial variability and a diminished beneficial commensal relationship. Microbiota can influence the expression of host microRNAs that, in turn, regulate the growth of intestinal bacteria by means of bidirectional host-gut micro-biota cross-talk. We investigated possible interactions among intestinal microbes and between them and host transcriptional modulators in autism. To this purpose, we analysed, by “omics” technologies, faecal microbiome, mycobiome and small non-coding-RNAs (particularly miRNAs and piRNAs) of children with autism and neurotypical development. Patients displayed gut dysbiosis, related to a reduction of healthy gut micro- and mycobiota, and up-regulated tran-scriptional modulators. The targets of dysregulated non-coding-RNAs are involved in intestinal permeability, inflammation and autism. Furthermore, microbial families, underrepresented in patients, participate to the production of human essential metabolites negatively influencing the health condition. Here, we propose a novel approach to analyse faeces as a whole and, for the first time, we detected miRNAs and piRNAs in faecal samples of patients with autism. Overall design: 6 stool samples from individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and 6 age matched stool samples from neurotypical individuals. "ASD" samples are the case group, and "Ctrl" samples are the controls group.