The fecal microbiota and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) play important roles in the human body. This study examined how hyperbaric conditions affect the fecal microbiota and fecal SCFAs. Fecal samples were obtained from 12 divers at three points during deep-diving training (before the diving training, at 2.1 MPa, and after decompression). At 2.1 MPa, the changes in the frequency of Clostridium cluster IV and fecal iso-valerate levels were positively correlated, and the changes in the frequencies of Bacteroides and Clostridium subcluster XIVa were inversely correlated. After decompression, positive correlations were detected between the changes in the frequency of Bifidobacterium and fecal n-valerate levels and between the changes in the fecal levels of iso-butyrate and iso-valerate. On the other hand, inverse correlations were detected between the changes in the frequency of Clostridium cluster IX and fecal iso-butyrate levels, between the changes in the frequency of Clostridium cluster IX and fecal iso-valerate levels, and between the changes in the frequencies of Bacteroides and Clostridium cluster IV plus subcluster XIVa. During the study period, the changes in fecal iso-butyrate and iso-valerate levels were positively correlated, and inverse correlations were seen between the changes in the frequency of Clostridium cluster IV and fecal propionate levels and between the changes in the frequencies of Prevotella and Clostridium subcluster XIVa. These findings suggest that hyperbaric conditions affect the fecal microbiota and fecal SCFA levels and that intestinal conditions reversibly deteriorate under hyperbaric conditions.
Natto is a traditional Japanese fermented soy product high in γ-polyglutamic acid (γ-PGA), whose beneficial effects have been reported. We prepared high-γ-PGA natto and compared the dietary influence on liver lipids and cecal microbiota in mice fed a diet containing it or a standard diet. The mice were served a 30% high-γ-PGA natto diet (PGA group) or standard diet (Con group) for 28 days. Liver lipids, fecal lipids, and fecal bile acids were quantified. Cecal microbiota were analyzed by PCR amplification of the V3 and V4 regions of 16S rRNA genes and sequenced using a MiSeq System. Additionally, the cecal short-chain fatty acid profile was assessed. The results revealed that the liver lipid and triglyceride contents were significantly lower (p<0.01) and amounts of bile acids and lipids in the feces were significantly higher in the PGA group than in the Con group. The cecal butyric acid concentration was observed to be significantly higher in the PGA group than in the Con group. Principal component analysis of the cecal microbiota revealed that the PGA and Con groups were distinct. The ratio of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes was found to be significantly low in the PGA mice. The results revealed a significantly higher relative abundance of Lachnospiraceae (p<0.05) and significantly lower relative abundance of Coriobacteriaceae (p<0.01) in the PGA group. Analysis of the correlation between bacterial abundance and liver lipids, cecal short-chain fatty acids, fecal lipids, and fecal bile acids suggested that intestinal microbiota can be categorized into different types based on lipid metabolism. Hepatic lipid accumulation typically facilitates the onset of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Our findings suggest that high-γ-PGA natto is a beneficial dietary component for the prevention of NAFLD.
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are safe microorganisms that have been used in the processing of fermented food for centuries. The aim of this study was to isolate Lactobacillus from fresh tea leaves and examine the impact of an isolated strain on intestinal barrier integrity. First, the presence of Lactobacillus strains was investigated in fresh tea leaves from Kagoshima, Japan. Strains were isolated by growing on De Man, Rogosa and Sharpe (MRS) agar medium containing sodium carbonate, followed by the identification of one strain by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and pheS sequence analysis, with the strain identified as Lactiplantibacillus plantarum and named L. plantarum LOC1. Second, the impact of strain LOC1 in its heat-inactivated form on intestinal barrier integrity was investigated. Strain LOC1, but not L. plantarum ATCC 14917T or L. plantarum ATCC 8014, significantly suppressed dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced decreases in transepithelial electrical resistance values of Caco-2:HT29-MTX 100:0 and 90:10 co-cultures. Moreover, in Caco-2:HT29-MTX co-cultures (90:10 and 75:25), levels of occludin mRNA were significantly increased by strain LOC1 compared with untreated co-cultures, and strain LOC1 had higher mRNA levels of MUC2 and MUC4 mucins than L. plantarum ATCC 14917T and L. plantarum YT9. These results indicate that L. plantarum LOC1 may be used as a safe probiotic with beneficial effects on the intestinal barrier, suggesting that fresh tea leaves could be utilized as a safe source for isolating probiotics.
Bifidobacterium bifidum OLB6378 (OLB6378) was selected as a strain that enhances the production of secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) in vitro. This ability of non-live OLB6378 has been shown by a clinical trial in preterm infants. In the present study, we examined whether non-live OLB6378 also enhances the production of secretory IgA, even in full-term infants. One hundred full-term infants were allocated to receive formula with (BbF group, 49 infants) or without non-live OLB6378 (PF group, 51 infants). Breastfeeding was prioritised, so infant formula was used for infants with breastfeeding difficulties. The intervention was initiated by five days of age. The faecal IgA concentration and OLB6378 level were determined at one, two, four, and eight weeks of age. Faecal IgA in the BbF group (1.04 ± 0.47 mg/g of faeces, n=45) was significantly higher than that in the PF group (0.85 ± 0.42 mg/g of faeces, n=49) at four weeks of age (p=0.047). OLB6378 was not detected in faeces at any age. This indicated that production of secretory IgA in full-term infants may also be enhanced by non-live OLB6378 intake.
We investigated bacteria that have a nutritional symbiotic relationship with respect to milk oligosaccharides in gut microbiota of suckling rats, with specific reference to sialyllactose (SL) degrading Enterococcus gallinarum. Our next generation sequencing analysis of the colonic contents of 12-day-old suckling rats revealed that almost half of the bacteria in the microbiota belonged to the Lactobacillaceae family. Major Lactobacillus species in the contents were identified as L. johnsonii, L. murinus, and L. reuteri. We then monitored changes in numbers of the above Lactobacillus species, E. gallinarum, and the bacteria belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae (i.e., enterobacteria) in the colonic contents of infant rats at 7, 12, 21, 28, and 35 days of age by using real-time PCR assays targeting these bacterial groups. The 7-day-old infant rats had a gut microbiota in which enterobacteria were predominant. Such dominance was replaced by L. johnsonii and the concomitant E. gallinarum markedly increased in those of 12 and 21 days of ages. During this period, the number of enterobacteria declined dramatically, but that of L. reuteri surged dramatically. Our separate in vitro experiment showed that supplementation of culture media with SL promoted the growth of L. johnsonii and E. gallinarum, with marked production of lactic acid. These findings revealed possible milk oligosaccharide-mediated cross-feeding between E. gallinarum and L. johnsonii, with the former degrading SL to release lactose to be utilized by the latter.