Saccharin induced liver inflammation in mice by altering the gut microbiota and its metabolic functions.
ABSTRACT: Maintaining the balance of the gut microbiota and its metabolic functions is vital for human health, however, this balance can be disrupted by various external factors including food additives. A range of food and beverages are sweetened by saccharin, which is generally considered to be safe despite controversial debates. However, recent studies indicated that saccharin perturbed the gut microbiota. Inflammation is frequently associated with disruptions of the gut microbiota. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between host inflammation and perturbed gut microbiome by saccharin. C57BL/6J male mice were treated with saccharin in drinking water for six months. Q-PCR was used to detect inflammatory markers in mouse liver, while 16S rRNA gene sequencing and metabolomics were used to reveal changes of the gut microbiota and its metabolomic profiles. Elevated expression of pro-inflammatory iNOS and TNF-? in liver indicated that saccharin induced inflammation in mice. The altered gut bacterial genera, enriched orthologs of pathogen-associated molecular patterns, such as LPS and bacterial toxins, in concert with increased pro-inflammatory metabolites suggested that the saccharin-induced liver inflammation could be associated with the perturbation of the gut microbiota and its metabolic functions.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NCAS) are widely used as a substitute for dietary sugars to control body weight or glycemia. Paradoxically, some interventional studies in humans and rodents have shown unfavorable changes in glucose homeostasis in response to NCAS consumption. The causative mechanisms are largely unknown, but adverse changes in gut microbiota have been proposed to mediate these effects. These findings have raised concerns about NCAS safety and called into question their broad use, but further physiological and dietary considerations must be first addressed before these results are generalized. We also reasoned that, since NCAS are bona fide ligands for sweet taste receptors (STRs) expressed in the intestine, some metabolic effects associated with NCAS use could be attributed to a common mechanism involving the host.<h4>Results</h4>We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel arm study exploring the effects of pure saccharin compound on gut microbiota and glucose tolerance in healthy men and women. Participants were randomized to placebo, saccharin, lactisole (STR inhibitor), or saccharin with lactisole administered in capsules twice daily to achieve the maximum acceptable daily intake for 2 weeks. In parallel, we performed a 10-week study administering pure saccharin at a high dose in the drinking water of chow-fed mice with genetic ablation of STRs (T1R2-KO) and wild-type (WT) littermate controls. In humans and mice, none of the interventions affected glucose or hormonal responses to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) or glucose absorption in mice. Similarly, pure saccharin supplementation did not alter microbial diversity or composition at any taxonomic level in humans and mice alike. No treatment effects were also noted in readouts of microbial activity such as fecal metabolites or short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). However, compared to WT, T1R2-KO mice were protected from age-dependent increases in fecal SCFA and the development of glucose intolerance.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Short-term saccharin consumption at maximum acceptable levels is not sufficient to alter gut microbiota or induce glucose intolerance in apparently healthy humans and mice.<h4>Trial registration</h4>Trial registration number NCT03032640 , registered on January 26, 2017. Video abstract.
Project description:<h4>Background/objectives</h4>The role of intestinal dysbiosis in obesity-associated systemic inflammation via the cross-talk with peripheral tissues is under debate. Our objective was to decipher the mechanisms by which intervention in the gut ecosystem with a specific Bifidobacterium strain reduces systemic inflammation and improves metabolic dysfunction in obese high-fat diet (HFD) fed mice.<h4>Methods</h4>Adult male wild-type C57BL-6 mice were fed either a standard or HFD, supplemented with placebo or Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum CECT 7765, for 14 weeks. Lymphocytes, macrophages and cytokine/chemokine concentrations were quantified in blood, gut, liver and adipose tissue using bead-based multiplex assays. Biochemical parameters in serum were determined by ELISA and enzymatic assays. Histology was assessed by hematoxylin-eosin staining. Microbiota was analyzed by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing and quantitative PCR.<h4>Results</h4>B. pseudocatenulatum CECT 7765 reduced obesity-associated systemic inflammation by restoring the balance between regulatory T cells (Tregs) and B lymphocytes and reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines of adaptive (IL-17A) and innate (TNF-?) immunity and endotoxemia. In the gut, the bifidobacterial administration partially restored the HFD-induced alterations in microbiota, reducing abundances of Firmicutes and of LPS-producing Proteobacteria, paralleled to reductions in B cells, macrophages, and cytokines (IL-6, MCP-1, TNF-?, IL-17A), which could contribute to systemic effects. In adipose tissue, bifidobacterial administration reduced B cells whereas in liver the treatment increased Tregs and shifted different cytokines (MCP-1 plus ILP-10 in adipose tissue and INF-? plus IL-1? in liver). In both tissues, the bifidobacteria reduced pro-inflammatory macrophages and, TNF-? and IL-17A concentrations. These effects were accompanied by reductions in body weight gain and in serum cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose and insulin levels and improved oral glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in obese mice.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Here, we provide evidence of the immune cellular mechanisms by which the inflammatory cascade associated with diet-induced obesity is attenuated by the administration of a specific Bifidobacterium strain and that these effects are associated with modulation of gut microbiota structure.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of cardiometabolic syndrome, which often also includes obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. It is rapidly becoming the most prevalent liver disease worldwide. A sizable minority of NAFLD patients develop nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is characterized by inflammatory changes that can lead to progressive liver damage, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Recent studies have shown that in addition to genetic predisposition and diet, the gut microbiota affects hepatic carbohydrate and lipid metabolism as well as influences the balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effectors in the liver, thereby impacting NAFLD and its progression to NASH In this review, we will explore the impact of gut microbiota and microbiota-derived compounds on the development and progression of NAFLD and NASH, and the unexplored factors related to potential microbiome contributions to this common liver disease.
Project description:Research identifying connections between the gastrointestinal flora and human health has developed at a rapid pace. Several studies link the gut microbiome to a variety of biological functions beyond the gastrointestinal tract. Changes in our diets, including the consumption of artificial sweeteners, have profound effects on the composition of the gut microbiome and can, in turn, affect brain function, glucose tolerance, and inflammation. Sweeteners are often used to encourage consumption of agents such as ethanol and nicotine in laboratory studies using rodents. Studies aiming to examine the effects of agents like ethanol on the developing nervous system administer these agents during pregnancy. To date, there have been no studies exploring the impact of the combination of dietary ethanol and saccharin during pregnancy on the gut microbiome in either humans or laboratory animal models. In the study presented, we evaluated the impact of ethanol in either water or saccharin on the fecal microbiome in pregnant and non-pregnant mice using a qPCR approach. We found that the combination of ethanol and saccharin produced different effects than ethanol in water, depending on pregnancy status. Levels of Clostridium were reduced in ethanol-saccharin but not ethanol-water drinking mice, even though the total levels of ethanol consumed were the same for the two groups. Eubacteria were increased in the pregnant, but decreased in the non-pregnant, ethanol-saccharin drinking group. These treatment and pregnancy specific changes could impact the development of the offspring. In developing and quality checking our primer sets for these studies we identified several problems within previous research in the field. The technical drawbacks in previous studies, as well as our own study, are discussed. Despite some progress in the ability to study the gut microbiome, more advances and standardization of practices should be established to improve the reliability and validity of microbiome research.
Project description:The intestinal tract is inhabited by a large and diverse community of microbes collectively referred to as the gut microbiota. While the gut microbiota provides important benefits to its host, especially in metabolism and immune development, disturbance of the microbiota-host relationship is associated with numerous chronic inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and the group of obesity-associated diseases collectively referred to as metabolic syndrome. A primary means by which the intestine is protected from its microbiota is via multi-layered mucus structures that cover the intestinal surface, thereby allowing the vast majority of gut bacteria to be kept at a safe distance from epithelial cells that line the intestine. Thus, agents that disrupt mucus-bacterial interactions might have the potential to promote diseases associated with gut inflammation. Consequently, it has been hypothesized that emulsifiers, detergent-like molecules that are a ubiquitous component of processed foods and that can increase bacterial translocation across epithelia in vitro, might be promoting the increase in inflammatory bowel disease observed since the mid-twentieth century. Here we report that, in mice, relatively low concentrations of two commonly used emulsifiers, namely carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80, induced low-grade inflammation and obesity/metabolic syndrome in wild-type hosts and promoted robust colitis in mice predisposed to this disorder. Emulsifier-induced metabolic syndrome was associated with microbiota encroachment, altered species composition and increased pro-inflammatory potential. Use of germ-free mice and faecal transplants indicated that such changes in microbiota were necessary and sufficient for both low-grade inflammation and metabolic syndrome. These results support the emerging concept that perturbed host-microbiota interactions resulting in low-grade inflammation can promote adiposity and its associated metabolic effects. Moreover, they suggest that the broad use of emulsifying agents might be contributing to an increased societal incidence of obesity/metabolic syndrome and other chronic inflammatory diseases.
Project description:Sucralose is the most widely used artificial sweetener, and its health effects have been highly debated over the years. In particular, previous studies have shown that sucralose consumption can alter the gut microbiota. The gut microbiome plays a key role in processes related to host health, such as food digestion and fermentation, immune cell development, and enteric nervous system regulation. Inflammation is one of the most common effects associated with gut microbiome dysbiosis, which has been linked to a series of human diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. The aim of this study was to investigate the structural and functional effects of sucralose on the gut microbiota and associated inflammation in the host. In this study, C57BL/6 male mice received sucralose in their drinking water for 6 months. The difference in gut microbiota composition and metabolites between control and sucralose-treated mice was determined using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, functional gene enrichment analysis and metabolomics. Inflammatory gene expression in tissues was analyzed by RT-PCR. Alterations in bacterial genera showed that sucralose affects the gut microbiota and its developmental dynamics. Enrichment of bacterial pro-inflammatory genes and disruption in fecal metabolites suggest that 6-month sucralose consumption at the human acceptable daily intake (ADI) may increase the risk of developing tissue inflammation by disrupting the gut microbiota, which is supported by elevated pro-inflammatory gene expression in the liver of sucralose-treated mice. Our results highlight the role of sucralose-gut microbiome interaction in regulating host health-related processes, particularly chronic inflammation.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is characterized by a robust pro-inflammatory component at both hepatic and systemic levels together with a disease-specific gut microbiome signature. Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1 B (PTP1B) plays distinct roles in non-immune and immune cells, in the latter inhibiting pro-inflammatory signaling cascades. In this study, we have explored the role of PTP1B in the composition of gut microbiota and gut barrier dynamics in methionine and choline-deficient (MCD) diet-induced NASH in mice. METHODS:Gut features and barrier permeability were characterized in wild-type (PTP1B WT) and PTP1B-deficient knockout (PTP1B KO) mice fed a chow or methionine/choline-deficient (MCD) diet for 4 weeks. The impact of inflammation was studied in intestinal epithelial and enteroendocrine cells. The secretion of GLP-1 was evaluated in primary colonic cultures and plasma of mice. RESULTS:We found that a shift in the gut microbiota shape, disruption of gut barrier function, higher levels of serum bile acids, and decreased circulating glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 are features during NASH. Surprisingly, despite the pro-inflammatory phenotype of global PTP1B-deficient mice, they were partly protected against the alterations in gut microbiota composition during NASH and presented better gut barrier integrity and less permeability under this pathological condition. These effects concurred with higher colonic mucosal inflammation, decreased serum bile acids, and protection against the decrease in circulating GLP-1 levels during NASH compared with their WT counterparts together with increased expression of GLP-2-sensitive genes in the gut. At the molecular level, stimulation of enteroendocrine STC-1 cells with a pro-inflammatory conditioned medium (CM) from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages triggered pro-inflammatory signaling cascades that were further exacerbated by a PTP1B inhibitor. Likewise, the pro-inflammatory CM induced GLP-1 secretion in primary colonic cultures, an effect augmented by PTP1B inhibition. CONCLUSION:Altogether our results have unraveled a potential role of PTP1B in the gut-liver axis during NASH, likely mediated by increased sensitivity to GLPs, with potential therapeutic value.
Project description:Gut microbiota, an integral part of the human body, comprise bacteria, fungi, archaea, and protozoa. There is consensus that the disruption of the gut microbiota (termed "gut dysbiosis") is influenced by host genetics, diet, antibiotics, and inflammation, and it is closely linked to the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases, such as obesity and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Macrophages are the key players in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis by eliminating invading pathogens and exhibit extreme plasticity of their phenotypes, such as M1 or M2, which have been demonstrated to exert pro- and anti-inflammatory functions. Microbiota-derived metabolites, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and Gram-negative bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS), exert anti-inflammatory or pro-inflammatory effects by acting on macrophages. Understanding the role of macrophages in gut microbiota-inflammation interactions might provide us a novel method for preventing and treating inflammatory diseases. In this review, we summarize the recent research on the relationship between gut microbiota and inflammation and discuss the important role of macrophages in this context.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic consequence of metabolic syndrome, which often also includes obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. The connection between gut microbiota (GM) and NAFLD has attracted significant attention in recent years. Data has shown that GM affects hepatic lipid metabolism and influences the balance between pro/anti-inflammatory effectors in the liver. Although studies reveal the association between GM dysbiosis and NAFLD, decoding the mechanisms of gut dysbiosis resulting in NAFLD remains challenging. The potential pathophysiology that links GM dysbiosis to NAFLD can be summarized as: (1) disrupting the balance between energy harvest and expenditure, (2) promoting hepatic inflammation (impairing intestinal integrity, facilitating endotoxemia, and initiating inflammatory cascades with cytokines releasing), and (3) altered biochemistry metabolism and GM-related metabolites (i.e., bile acid, short-chain fatty acids, aromatic amino acid derivatives, branched-chain amino acids, choline, ethanol). Due to the hypothesis that probiotics/synbiotics could normalize GM and reverse dysbiosis, there have been efforts to investigate the therapeutic effect of probiotics/synbiotics in patients with NAFLD. Recent randomized clinical trials suggest that probiotics/synbiotics could improve transaminases, hepatic steatosis, and reduce hepatic inflammation. Despite these promising results, future studies are necessary to understand the full role GM plays in NAFLD development and progression. Additionally, further data is needed to unravel probiotics/synbiotics efficacy, safety, and sustainability as a novel pharmacologic approaches to NAFLD.
Project description:Non-caloric artificial sweeteners are frequently discussed as components of the "Western diet", negatively modulating intestinal homeostasis. Since the artificial sweetener saccharin is known to depict bacteriostatic and microbiome-modulating properties, we hypothesized oral saccharin intake to influence intestinal inflammation and aimed at delineating its effect on acute and chronic colitis activity in mice. In vitro, different bacterial strains were grown in the presence or absence of saccharin. Mice were supplemented with saccharin before or after induction of acute or chronic colitis using dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) and the extent of colitis was assessed. Ex vivo, intestinal inflammation, fecal bacterial load and composition were studied by immunohistochemistry analyses, quantitative PCR, 16 S RNA PCR or next generation sequencing in samples collected from analyzed mice. In vitro, saccharin inhibited bacterial growth in a species-dependent manner. In vivo, oral saccharin intake reduced fecal bacterial load and altered microbiome composition, while the intestinal barrier was not obviously affected. Of note, DSS-induced colitis activity was significantly improved in mice after therapeutic or prophylactic treatment with saccharin. Together, this study demonstrates that oral saccharin intake decreases intestinal bacteria count and hence encompasses the capacity to reduce acute and chronic colitis activity in mice.