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Maternal high fat diet and its consequence on the gut microbiome: A rat model.


ABSTRACT: The biological changes that occur during pregnancy in the female mammal include shifts in hormonal regulation in preparation for parturition and lactation, and changes in energy metabolism. In women, studies have also shown that during pregnancy there is a reduction in bacterial species richness in the gut. In the current experiment rats were used to model the interaction of diet, reproductive status, and intestinal bacterial microbiota during pregnancy and lactation. In Experiment 1 rats were exposed to either standard chow or high-fat chow (60%) and were divided into two groups: unmated (NULL) or mated (RE). In Experiment 2, both NULL and RE rats were exposed to high-fat chow for a 30-day period. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene revealed that pregnancy impacted the gut microbiota in a similar manner to humans. The impact of reproductive status on microbiota composition, however, was stronger in rats fed a high-fat (HF) diet. Diet-induced changes replicated some of the changes observed in humans, such as increasing the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio. However, in contrast to humans, pregnancy in rats did not increase ?-diversity between microbiota from different animals. These results indicate that during pregnancy in rats, the gut microbiota is altered in a similar manner to that which occurs in women, and that these changes are further exaggerated by exposure to a HF diet. Thus, the rat may allow modelling the effects of consumption of HF food during pregnancy and enable future studies to determine the risks of HF diets during pregnancy and its consequences on the offspring.

SUBMITTER: Mann PE 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5989793 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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