Plant proteins are known to possess important bioactive peptides and have a positive impact on gut microbial modulation. In this study, we studied the ability of a single dose of a fermented soy protein product (P-SPI) to reduce high blood pressure in spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR) and how it modulates the gut microbiota after six weeks of feeding. SHRs were fed with P-SPI, Captopril or distilled water once, and their blood pressures were monitored from the first to twelfth-hour post-administration. Consumption of P-SPI significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressures up to the sixth hour by 25 ± 4 mmHg and 40 ± 5 mmHg respectively. P-SPI consumption inhibited serum ACE activity, increased superoxide dismutase activity and nitric oxide levels and reduced malondialdehyde levels in serum. Analysis of fecal microbial 16S rRNA of hypertensive rats revealed a significant reduction in microbial richness and diversity in the gut, while P-SPI consumption improved microbial richness and increased diversity. Also, P-SPI feeding significantly reduced the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio, increased propionate- and H2S-producing bacteria and reduced Streptococcaceae and Erysipelotrichales levels. Our results show that P-SPI is a potential antihypertensive functional food which could remodel the altered gut microbiota of hypertensive patients.
Heavy metals are harmful to human health. Therefore, we investigated the biosorption of heavy metals by lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Of all the tested heavy metals, biosorption by LAB was highest for mercury, followed by lead, cadmium, and finally arsenic. The viability of HCT-116 cells was reduced by half in the presence of 7.5 μg/mL mercury but recovered after the addition of selected LAB strains. HCT-116 cells showed increased superoxide dismutase and catalase activities, whereas glutathione peroxidase activities decreased significantly. Addition of Lactobacillus sakei TOKAI 57m recovered all antioxidant enzyme activities. Our results suggest that this strain can be used for cellular detoxification.
Cyclic nigerosylnigerose (CNN) is a cyclic oligosaccharide. Oral administration of CNN promotes immunoglobulin A (IgA) secretion in the gut. IgA is a major antibody secreted into the gut and plays a crucial role in suppressing gut inflammation due to commensal gut microbiota. To investigate the effect of administration of CNN to promote IgA secretion on gut inflammation, experimental colitis was induced with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in Balb/c mice after 6 weeks of CNN pre-feeding. The severity of colitis was evaluated based on a disease activity index (DAI), the gene expression of inflammatory cytokines, and a histological examination. The CNN-treated mice with DSS-induced colitis (CNN-DSS group) showed significantly lower DAI scores and mRNA levels of interleukin-1 compared with the CNN-untreated mice with DSS-induced colitis (DSS group). Histological examination of the colon revealed that the pathological score was significantly lower in the CNN-DSS group compared with the DSS group due to the reduced infiltration of immune cells. The number of goblet cells was significantly higher in the CNN-DSS group compared with the DSS group. The IgA concentration and the ratio of microbiota coated with IgA were evaluated in the cecal content. Although there was no difference in the IgA concentration among groups, a higher proportion of cecal microbiota were coated with IgA in the CNN-DSS group compared with that in the DSS group. These results suggest that CNN might preserve goblet cells in the colon and promote IgA coating of gut microbiota, which synergistically ameliorate gut inflammation in mice with DSS-induced colitis.
We examined whether oral administration of a hop-derived prenylflavonoid isoxanthohumol (IX) would show anti-obesity activity and the underlying mechanism of the potential activity using a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mouse model. Oral administration of 180 mg/kg IX for 8 weeks suppressed HFD-induced accumulation of visceral fat and body weight gain in mice. Simultaneously, IX changed the composition of the microbiome, as determined by a significant increase in the relative abundances of Akkermansia muciniphila, Blautia, and Escherichia coli. A. muciniphila accounted for 23% and 24% of the total microbiome in the HFD+60 mg/kg and 180 mg/kg IX groups, respectively, while it was undetectable in the normal diet (ND) and HFD groups. Similarly, Blautia accounted for 8% and 10% of the total microbiome in the HFD+60 mg/kg and 180 mg/kg IX groups, respectively, while it accounted for less than 1% in the ND and HFD groups. In contrast, a significant decrease in the relative abundance of Oscillospira was observed in the HFD+60 mg/kg and 180 mg/kg IX groups compared with the HFD group. We further examined the anti-obesity effect of IX using a germ-free (GF) mouse model to clarify the relationship between the microbiome and the effect of IX. IX showed no significant anti-obesity effect on fat accumulation and weight gain in GF mice. These results suggest that the anti-obesity effect of IX may involve microbial changes.
Lactobacillus fermentum MTCC 25067 produces a hetero-exopolysaccharide (HePS) when cultured which forms supramolecular networks in the culture medium, increasing the viscosity. In the present study, the viscosity of the bacterial culture reached its maximum at 48 hr of cultivation and then decreased during a stationary growth phase lasting for up to 144 hr. The monosaccharide composition did not change during the stationary growth phase, whereas degradation of HePS molecules was noticeable, leading to partial disintegration of their supramolecular networks. The viscosity values of the HePS purified from the culture and dissolved in a fresh medium indicated little contribution of medium components to the viscosity. Absence of the apparent network structure of the HePS in the surrounding area of bacterial cells was observed during the late growth phase, supporting the idea that the decreases in culture viscosity during the prolonged period of cultivation were caused mainly by reduced interactions between bacterial cells and the intact supramolecular networks as a consequence of decreasing bacterial cell wall integrity and partial degradation of HePS molecules.
Streptococcus thermophilus is widely used for producing fermented dairy products such as yogurt and cheese. Some S. thermophilus strains possessing the cell-wall protease PrtS show high proteolytic activity and fast acidification properties, which are very useful in industrial starters. However, few S. thermophilus strains possessing the prtS gene have been isolated from the environment. To clarify whether or not S. thermophilus strains possessing the prtS gene are present in Japan, we isolated S. thermophilus from raw milk collected in Japan from 2011 to 2017 and investigated the strains for the presence of prtS by PCR. A total of 172 S. thermophilus strains were isolated, and 59 strains were confirmed to possess prtS. We measured fermentation times of 59 prtS-positive strains in skim milk broth and found that 53 strains showed fast acidification properties, finishing fermentation within 10 hours. However, the remaining 6 prtS-positive strains showed slow acidification properties, and they had several amino acid mutations in PrtS compared with fast acidifying S. thermophilus LMD-9 and 4F44. These results demonstrate that S. thermophilus strains possessing prtS are prevalent in Japan and that some prtS-positive strains could lose their fast acidifying properties through mutations in PrtS.
Recent studies of metformin, the first-line drug for type 2 diabetes, have reported the involvement of gut microbiota in the mechanism underlying its antihyperglycemic effect. However, the mechanisms underlying the development of diarrhea and bloating, which are adverse effects of metformin, are unclear, and these effects decrease the quality of life of metformin-receiving patients with diabetes. In this study, we focused on the effects of metformin on gut microbiota. Namely, we examined the effects of Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1 (BBG9-1), which has the ability to improve dysbiosis, on the changes in gut microbiota and occurrence of soft feces (increased fecal water content) during the administration of metformin. The results showed that coadministration of BBG9-1 and metformin suppressed metformin-mediated changes in the gut microbiota and, thus, soft feces. Meanwhile, BBG9-1 did not influence the antihyperglycemic effect of metformin. Based on these results, we believe that BBG9-1, which could improve gut microbiota, suppresses metformin-induced soft feces without influencing the drug’s antihyperglycemic effect.
Certain strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have beneficial effects on Japanese cedar pollinosis (JCPsis), which is a major concern in Japan. Heat-killed Lactobacillus plantarum YIT 0132 (LP0132), selected for its ability to induce interleukin (IL)-10, has been shown to suppress JCPsis symptoms. Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS), a popular probiotic, potentially induces a high level of IL-12 and is reported to delay the onset of JCPsis symptoms. However, it is unclear whether a combination of different types of LAB exerts additional effects without interfering with the benefits of each individual LAB. Thus, we conducted a pilot study to investigate the effects of LP0132-fermented citrus juice on JCPsis during simultaneous consumption of LcS-fermented milk. Fifty-nine subjects with JCPsis were allocated to two groups after a 2-week preconsumption period: one group consumed LP0132-fermented citrus juice and LcS-fermented milk (LcS+LP0132 group) for 12 weeks, while the other consumed LcS-fermented milk alone (LcS group). JCPsis symptoms, JCPsis-associated quality of life (QOL) impairment, and bowel movements were assessed by questionnaires. Compared with the LcS group, the LcS+LP0132 group showed significant alleviation of total symptoms and total ocular symptoms during the consumption period, as well as relief of impaired QOL. Bowel movements were significantly improved during the consumption period compared with the baseline in a combined analysis of all subjects in the two groups. In conclusion, LP0132-fermented citrus juice appears to have positive effects on some JCPsis symptoms and QOL in a population consuming immunomodulating probiotics such as LcS-fermented milk.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are prevalent neurobiological conditions with complicated causes worldwide. Increasing researcher awareness of ASD and accumulated evidence suggest that the development of ASD may be strongly linked to the dysbiosis of the gut microbiota. In addition, most of the current studies have compared autistic children and neurotypical children or have compared ASD patients before and after antibiotic treatment. Treatment of autism with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has increasingly been promoted, but the relationship between its efficacy and intestinal flora has rarely been reported. Under the premise that treatment with the TCM BuYang HuanWu Tang is effective, we conducted a comparative bioinformatics analysis to identify the overall changes in gut microbiota in relation to ASD by comparing the intestinal flora before and after treatment with TCM and contrasting the intestinal flora with that of healthy controls. At the phylum level, Proteobacteria showed a significant increase in children with ASD, which may be a signature of dysbiosis in the gut microbiota. At the genus level, Blautia, Coprococcus 1, the Lachnospiraceae family, and the Ruminococcaceae family were found at the lowest levels of relative abundance in children with ASD, whereas the abundances of Escherichia-Shigella, Klebsiella, and Flavonifractor were significantly increased compared with those in the healthy control group. In sum, this study characterized the alterations of the intestinal microbiome in children with ASD and its normalization after TCM treatment (TCMT), which may provide novel insights into the diagnosis and therapy of ASD.
Sourdough, a traditional fermented dough, is made via natural fermentation by lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Its pH changes from near neutral to acid during the subculture process. However, the product quality of subcultured sourdough depends on the unpredictable succession of LAB communities, the influential factors of which are still unclear. To elucidate one end of the LAB community succession mechanism, we evaluated the effect of pH by designing four subculture experiments using a model medium adjusted to pH 6.7, 5.5, and 4.5, as well as a natural sourdough subculture. All experiments began by inoculating a sourdough LAB mixture, and both bacterial successions and fermentative properties were monitored until ten subculture steps. In media subcultures, lactic acid production was higher in higher pH media. Three LAB genera, Weissella, Pediococcus, and Lactobacillus, each represented by one operational taxonomic unit (OTU), were successively detected in all subcultures. In later steps with lower pH media, an OTU closely related to Lactobacillus brevis dominated, replacing an OTU closely related to the Weissellacibaria-confusa group that was more dominant than the L. brevis OTU in the near-neutral pH medium. In the sourdough subculture, the three genera were also detected, while Lactobacillus was dominant in earlier steps due to the emergence of an OTU closely related to Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. These results suggest that a lower pH is favorable for the sequence of sourdough bacterial community evolution finalizing with Lactobacillus domination. Further research is needed to elucidate additional factors other than pH that influence the pattern of LAB community shift.
Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) potentially provide the first line of immune defense against enteric pathogens. In addition, there is growing evidence supporting the involvement of IELs in the pathogenesis of gut disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases. Various kinds of molecules are involved in the dynamics of IELs, such as homing to the intestinal epithelium and retention in the intestinal mucosa. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) comprise the largest family of cell surface receptors and regulate many biological responses. Although some GPCRs, such as CCR9, have been implicated to have roles in IEL homing, little is still known regarding the functional roles of GPCRs in IEL biology. In this review, we provide a concise overview of recent advances in the roles of novel GPCRs such as GPR55 and GPR18 in the dynamics of IELs.
The fraction of administered antibiotics that reach the cecum and colon causes dysbiosis of the gut microbiome, resulting in various diseases. Protection of the gut microbiome from antibiotics using antibiotic adsorbents in the cecum and colon is a promising method to overcome this issue. Previously, activated charcoal (AC) has been reported to protect the gut microbiome of host animals. AC is an adsorbent that is widely used to capture toxic compounds and overdosed drugs in the gastrointestinal tract. The specificity of adsorbents for antibiotics is critical to avoid the risk of unexpected side effects caused by nonspecific adsorption of biological compounds in the intestinal fluid, such as bile acids and essential micronutrients. Here, we have developed specific adsorbents for vancomycin (VCM), which is known to cause gut dysbiosis. The adsorbents were composed of polyethyleneglycol-based microparticles (MPs) in which a specific ligand for VCM, D-Ala-D-Ala-OH, was attached via dendrons of D-lysine to raise the content of the ligand in the MPs. The MPs successfully protected Staphylococcus lentus from VCM in vitro because of the adsorption of VCM in the culture media. Pre-administration of MPs to mice reduced the amount of free VCM in the feces to an undetectable level. This treatment minimized the effect of VCM on gut microbiota and provided protection against Clostridioides difficile infection after oral challenge with spores.
Probiotic supplements containing living bacteria have attracted interest as a potential source of health benefits for humans and livestock. The aim of this study was to determine whether administration of Lactobacillus acidophilus strain L-55 (LaL-55) enhances the immune response among chicks exposed to a Newcastle disease virus (NDV)-based live attenuated vaccine. Oral administration of LaL-55 augmented the elevation in the total numbers of leukocytes and lymphocytes following inoculation with the NDV-based live attenuated vaccine. Monocyte counts increased after LaL-55 administration independent of inoculation with the NDV vaccine. Among chicks that were administered LaL-55, there was a dose-dependent increase in the NK cell activity measured by a 51Cr release assay at 2 weeks after the secondary NDV vaccine inoculation. Two weeks after the secondary inoculation with the NDV vaccine, interferon (IFN)-γ-mRNA expression was significantly elevated in mononuclear splenocytes from chicks that were administered LaL-55. Meanwhile, LaL-55 administration did not change the mRNA levels of IFN-α, IFN-β, and interleukin-1β. These results may suggest that coadministration of LaL-55 with an NDV vaccine augments the immune response against the virus. Therefore, LaL-55 may help protect against viral diseases in poultry.
Dysbiosis, defined as an imbalance in the gut microbiota caused by too few beneficial bacteria and an overgrowth of bad bacteria, yeast, and/or parasites, is now being associated with several diseases, including the development of colorectal carcinoma (CRC). In this study, the potential association of Clostridioides difficile (formerly Clostridium difficile) with CRC was investigated. Plasma samples obtained from preoperative histologically confirmed CRC patients (n=39) and their age- and sex-matched clinically healthy controls (n=39) were analyzed for antibodies to toxin B of C. difficile (anti-tcdB) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A significantly greater number (p=0.012) of CRC cases (n=26/39, 66.7%) had anti-tcdB IgG levels above the cutoff value compared with controls (n=12/39, 30.8%). Eight cases (8/39, 20.5%) and none of the controls registered anti-tcdB IgA levels above the cutoff value (p=0.0039). Anti-tcdB IgG and IgA levels were not shown to be significantly associated with tumor grade or tumor stage. Anti-tcdB IgG showed 66.7% sensitivity and 69.2% specificity. For anti-tcdB IgA, sensitivity and specificity were 20.5% and 100%, respectively. The positive predictive values for anti-tcdB IgA and IgG were 100% and 68.4%, respectively. The anti-tcdB IgA and IgG negative predictive values were 55.7% and 67.5%, respectively. The results suggest the potential association of C. difficile with CRC and anti-tcdB levels, particularly the IgA level. Hence, anti-tcdB antibodies can be candidate serologic markers for CRC.
The aim of this study was to verify the effect of treatment with isoxanthohumol (IX) on the metabolomics profile of mouse feces to explore the host-intestinal bacterial interactions at the molecular level. The fecal contents of several amino acids in the high-fat diet (HFD) + 0.1% IX group (treated with IX mixed in diets for 12 weeks) were significantly lower than in the HFD group. The fecal contents of the secondary bile acid deoxycholic acid (DCA) in the HFD + 180 mg/kg IX group (orally treated with IX for 8 weeks) were significantly lower than in the HFD group; the values in the HFD group were higher than those in the normal diet (ND) group. Administration of IX changed the fecal metabolomics profile. For some metabolites, IX normalized HFD-induced fluctuations.
This study was conducted to evaluate the possibility of using heated-inactivated Lactobacilli to protect neonates from harmful effects of antibiotics. Thirty neonate mice were randomly divided into three groups of ten and treated with either sterilized water, an antibiotics cocktail, or the same antibiotics plus heat-inactivated Lactobacillus paracasei N1115. The administration of antibiotics significantly increased the serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels of the tested mice (p<0.01, p<0.001, respectively) and decreased their serum corticosterone levels (p<0.01, p<0.01, respectively). The colonic crypts were significantly less deep in mice treated with antibiotics and with antibiotics plus N1115 (p<0.05). Antibiotics caused significantly abnormal expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor α1 (GABAAα1), γ-aminobutyric acid type B receptor1(GABAb1), and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor1A (5-HT1A) in the hippocampus (p<0.05, p<0.01, p<0.01, respectively) and of GABAAα1 in the prefrontal cortex (p<0.01). Heat-inactivated Lactobacilli alleviated these abnormal changes. Antibiotics greatly decreased the Shannon index of the fecal microbiota and significantly increased the number of Proteobacteria (p<0.001), with fewer Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes (p<0.05). Antibiotics not only cause microbiota dysbiosis, but also cause abnormal changes in important molecules in the gut-brain axis. All these abnormal changes are alleviated by heat-inactivated L. paracasei N1115. This indicates that heat-inactivated L. paracasei N1115 has a certain improvement effect on changes caused by antibiotics.
Recent evidence suggests that gut microbiota-derived metabolites affect many biological processes of the host, including appetite control and weight management. Dysbiosis of the gut microbiome in obesity influences the metabolism and excretion of gut microbiota byproducts and consequently affects the physiology of the host. Since identification of the gut microbiota-host co-metabolites is essential for clarifying the interactions between the intestinal flora and the host, we conducted this systematic review to summarize all human studies that characterized the gut microbiota-related metabolites in overweight and obese individuals. A comprehensive search of the PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases yielded 2137 articles documented up to July 2018. After screening abstracts and full texts, 12 articles that used different biosamples and methodologies of metabolic profiling and fecal microbiota analysis were included. Amino acids and byproducts of amino acids, lipids and lipid-like metabolites, bile acids derivatives, and other metabolites derived from degradation of carnitine, choline, polyphenols, and purines are among the gut microbiota-derived metabolites which showed alterations in obesity. These metabolites play an important role in metabolic complications of obesity, including insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia. The results of this study could be useful in development of therapeutic strategies with the aim of modulating gut microbiota and consequently the metabolic profile in obesity.
Food contamination by fungi and mycotoxins presents a problem for food safety even today. Since lactic acid (LA) has Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status, the aim of this research was to determine its potential in protection of food against mycological and mycotoxicological contamination. In this study, LA showed an inhibitory effect on the growth of food-borne fungi (Penicillium aurantiogriseum K51, Aspergillus parasiticus KB31, Aspergillus versicolor S72, and Aspergillus niger K95) and on biosynthesis of sterigmatocystin (STE). For the antifungal effect of LA on the growth of food-borne fungi, the disc diffusion and microdilution methods were performed. The effect of LA on the STE biosynthesis by A. versicolor was determined using an LC-MS/MS technique. The largest inhibition zone was observed for A. versicolor (inhibition zone of 24 ± 0.35 mm), while there were no inhibition zones for A. niger and A. parasiticus at all tested LA concentrations. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of LA on fungi ranged from 25.0 mg/mL to 50.0 mg/mL, while the minimum fungicidal concentrations (MFCs) ranged from 50.0 mg/mL to 100.0 mg/mL. Complete inhibition of STE biosynthesis by A. versicolor was observed at an LA concentration of 50.0 mg/mL. The obtained results showed that LA could be efficient for protection of food against mycological and STE contamination.