High-fat diet and estrogen modulate the gut microbiota in a sex-dependent manner in mice.

Hases L, Stepanauskaite L, Birgersson M, Brusselaers N, Schuppe-Koistinen I, Archer A, Engstrand L, Williams C

Commun Biol 6 (1) 20 [2023-01-09; online 2023-01-09]

A high-fat diet can lead to gut microbiota dysbiosis, chronic intestinal inflammation, and metabolic syndrome. Notably, resulting phenotypes, such as glucose and insulin levels, colonic crypt cell proliferation, and macrophage infiltration, exhibit sex differences, and females are less affected. This is, in part, attributed to sex hormones. To investigate if there are sex differences in the microbiota and if estrogenic ligands can attenuate high-fat diet-induced dysbiosis, we used whole-genome shotgun sequencing to characterize the impact of diet, sex, and estrogenic ligands on the microbial composition of the cecal content of mice. We here report clear host sex differences along with remarkably sex-dependent responses to high-fat diet. Females, specifically, exhibited increased abundance of Blautia hansenii, and its levels correlated negatively with insulin levels in both sexes. Estrogen treatment had a modest impact on the microbiota diversity but altered a few important species in males. This included Collinsella aerofaciens F, which we show correlated with colonic macrophage infiltration. In conclusion, male and female mice exhibit clear differences in their cecal microbial composition and in how diet and estrogens impact the composition. Further, specific microbial strains are significantly correlated with metabolic parameters.

Bioinformatics Support for Computational Resources [Service]

PubMed 36624306

DOI 10.1038/s42003-022-04406-5

Crossref 10.1038/s42003-022-04406-5

pmc: PMC9829864
pii: 10.1038/s42003-022-04406-5

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