Project description:Gut microbiome research is rapidly moving towards the functional characterization of the microbiota by means of shotgun meta-omics. Here, we selected a cohort of healthy subjects from an indigenous and monitored Sardinian population to analyze their gut microbiota using both shotgun metagenomics and shotgun metaproteomics. We found a considerable divergence between genetic potential and functional activity of the human healthy gut microbiota, in spite of a quite comparable taxonomic structure revealed by the two approaches. Investigation of inter-individual variability of taxonomic features revealed Bacteroides and Akkermansia as remarkably conserved and variable in abundance within the population, respectively. Firmicutes-driven butyrogenesis (mainly due to Faecalibacterium spp.) was shown to be the functional activity with the higher expression rate and the lower inter-individual variability in the study cohort, highlighting the key importance of the biosynthesis of this microbial by-product for the gut homeostasis. The taxon-specific contribution to functional activities and metabolic tasks was also examined, giving insights into the peculiar role of several gut microbiota members in carbohydrate metabolism (including polysaccharide degradation, glycan transport, glycolysis and short-chain fatty acid production). In conclusion, our results provide useful indications regarding the main functions actively exerted by the gut microbiota members of a healthy human cohort, and support metaproteomics as a valuable approach to investigate the functional role of the gut microbiota in health and disease.
Project description:Gut microbiota dysbiosis characterizes systemic metabolic alteration, yet its causality is debated. To address this issue, we transplanted antibiotic-free conventional wild-type mice with either dysbiotic (“obese”) or eubiotic (“lean”) gut microbiota and fed them either a NC or a 72%HFD. We report that, on NC, obese gut microbiota transplantation reduces hepatic gluconeogenesis with decreased hepatic PEPCK activity, compared to non-transplanted mice. Of note, this phenotype is blunted in conventional NOD2KO mice. By contrast, lean microbiota transplantation did not affect hepatic gluconeogenesis. In addition, obese microbiota transplantation changed both gut microbiota and microbiome of recipient mice. Interestingly, hepatic gluconeogenesis, PEPCK and G6Pase activity were reduced even once mice transplanted with the obese gut microbiota were fed a 72%HFD, together with reduced fed glycaemia and adiposity compared to non-transplanted mice. Notably, changes in gut microbiota and microbiome induced by the transplantation were still detectable on 72%HFD. Finally, we report that obese gut microbiota transplantation may impact on hepatic metabolism and even prevent HFD-increased hepatic gluconeogenesis. Our findings may provide a new vision of gut microbiota dysbiosis, useful for a better understanding of the aetiology of metabolic diseases. all livers are from NC-fed mice only. Overall design: 6-wk-old C57Bl/6 male mice were fed a normal chow (NC) for 4 weeks. Mice have been transplanted with the vehicle (reduced PBS), or lean or obese gut microbiota. At the sacrifice by cervical dislocation, livers were dissected and snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen per each mouse.
Project description:Gut microbiota plays an important role during early development via bidirectional gut- brain signaling. We aimed to explore the potential link between gut microbiota/gut derived metabolites and sympathoadrenal stress responsivity Overall design: The reponse to insulin induced hypoglycemia was compared in normally colonized male mice (control, C) and sterile male (germ free mice, GF) of the same genetic background (C57Bl6) using whole genome transcriptome profyling of adrenal medullary RNA samples.
Project description:We have previously demonstrated that the gut microbiota can play a role in the pathogenesis of conditions associated with exposure to environmental pollutants. It is well accepted that diets high in fermentable fibers such as inulin can beneficially modulate the gut microbiota and lessen the severity of pro-inflammatory diseases. Therefore, we aimed to test the hypothesis that hyperlipidemic mice fed a diet enriched with inulin would be protected from the pro-inflammatory toxic effects of PCB 126.
Project description:Advanced age is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation, which is usually referred to as inflammaging. Elderly are also known to have an altered gut microbiota composition. However, whether inflammaging is a cause or consequence of an altered gut microbiota composition is not clear. In this study gut microbiota from young or old conventional mice was transferred to young germ-free mice. Four weeks after gut microbiota transfer immune cell populations in spleen, Peyer’s patches, and mesenteric lymph nodes from conventionalized germ-free mice were analyzed by flow cytometry. In addition, whole-genome gene expression in the ileum was analyzed by microarray. Gut microbiota composition of donor and recipient mice was analyzed with 16S rDNA sequencing. Here we show by transferring aged microbiota to young germ-free mice that certain bacterial species within the aged microbiota promote inflammaging. This effect was associated with lower levels of Akkermansia and higher levels of TM7 bacteria and Proteobacteria in the aged microbiota after transfer. The aged microbiota promoted inflammation in the small intestine in the germ-free mice and enhanced leakage of inflammatory bacterial components into the circulation was observed. Moreover, the aged microbiota promoted increased T cell activation in the systemic compartment. In conclusion, these data indicate that the gut microbiota from old mice contributes to inflammaging after transfer to young germ-free mice. Overall design: Gut microbiota from young or old conventional mice was transferred to young germ-free mice. Four weeks after gut microbiota transfer whole-genome gene expression in the distal ileum was analyzed by microarray.