Dietary protein sources differentially affect the growth of Akkermansia muciniphila and maintenance of the gut mucus barrier in mice

Fan Zhao, Guanghong Zhou, Xinyue Liu, Shangxin Song, Xinglian Xu, Guido J. E. J. Hooiveld, Michael Muller, Li Liu, Karsten Kristiansen, Chunbao Li

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The gut microbiota plays an essential role in linking diet to host health. The specific role of different dietary proteins on the gut microbiota and health is less understood. Here we investigated the impact of proteins derived from chicken and soy on the gut microbiota and host gut barrier in C57BL/6 mice.
Methods and results: Specific-pathogen-free and germ-free mice were assigned to either a chicken or a soy protein-based diet for 4 weeks. Compared with a chicken protein-based diet, intake of a soy protein-based diet reduced the abundance of A. muciniphila and the number of goblet cells, lowered the level of Muc2 mRNA, and decreased the thickness of the mucus layer in the colon of specific-pathogen-free mice. In germ-free mice colonization with A. muciniphila combined with intake of a chicken protein-based diet resulted in a higher expression of the Muc2 mRNA in colon, and surprisingly, an increased potential for oxidative phosphorylation in A. muciniphila compared with colonized mice fed a soy protein-based diet.
Conclusion: These findings suggest possible mutually beneficial interactions between the growth and function of A. muciniphila and host mucus barrier in response to intake of a chicken protein-based diet contrasting the intake of a soy protein-based diet.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1900589
JournalMolecular Nutrition & Food Research
Issue number23
Early online date14 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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