Dietary supplementation throughout life with non‐digestible oligosaccharides and/or n‐3 poly‐unsaturated fatty acids in healthy mice modulates the gut–immune system–brain axis

Kirsten Szklany, Phillip A. Engen, Ankur Naqib, Stefan J. Green, Ali Keshavarzian, Alejandro Lopez Rincon, Cynthia J. Siebrand, Mara A.P. Diks, Melanie van de Kaa, Johan Garssen, Leon M.J. Knippels, Aletta D. Kraneveld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The composition and activity of the intestinal microbial community structures can be beneficially modulated by nutritional components such as non‐digestible oligosaccharides and omega‐3 poly‐unsaturated fatty acids (n‐3 PUFAs). These components affect immune function, brain development and behaviour. We investigated the additive effect of a dietary combination of scGOS:lcFOS and n‐3 PUFAs on caecal content microbial community structures and development of the immune system, brain and behaviour from day of birth to early adulthood in healthy mice. Male BALB/cByJ mice received a control or enriched diet with a combination of scGOS:lcFOS (9:1) and 6% tuna oil (n‐3 PUFAs) or individually scGOS:lcFOS (9:1) or 6% tuna oil (n‐3 PUFAs). Behaviour, caecal content microbiota composition, short‐chain fatty acid levels, brain monoamine levels, enterochromaffin cells and immune parameters in the mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and spleen were assessed. Caecal content microbial community structures displayed differences between the control and dietary groups, and between the dietary groups. Compared to control diet, the scGOS:lcFOS and combination diets increased caecal saccharolytic fermentation activity. The diets enhanced the number of enterochromaffin cells. The combination diet had no effects on the immune cells. Although the dietary effect on behaviour was limited, serotonin and serotonin metabolite levels in the amygdala were increased in the combination diet group. The combination and individual interventions affected caecal content microbial profiles, but had limited effects on behaviour and the immune system. No apparent additive effect was observed when scGOS:lcFOS and n‐3 PUFAs were combined. The results suggest that scGOS:lcFOS and n‐3 PUFAs together create a balance—the best of both in a healthy host.

Original languageEnglish
Article number173
Pages (from-to)1-29
JournalNutrients
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • PUFA
  • SCFA
  • behaviour
  • early life
  • fructo-oligosaccharide
  • galacto-oligosaccharide
  • healthy mice
  • intestinal microbiota
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • prebiotics

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