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Social overcrowding impacts gut microbiota, promoting stress, inflammation and dysglycemia

Abstract : An array of chronic inflammatory diseases, including metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, are thought to be promoted by disturbance of the intestinal microbiota. Such diseases disproportionately impact low-income communities, which are frequently afflicted by chronic stress and increased housing density. Hence, we hypothesized here that overcrowded housing might promote stress, dysbiosis, inflammation and, consequently, metabolic alterations. We tested this hypothesis in a tractable model of social overcrowding (SOC), in which mice were housed at twice the normal density. Fresh feces were collected for gut microbiota investigation, behavior was tested using widely used assays, and tissues were harvested at sacrifice for further analysis. Microbiota dependent effects were tested using microbiota ablation through broad spectrum antibiotics treatment and fecal microbiota transplantation into germfree mice. SOC housing moderately impacted behavior and resulted in a stark increase in the corticosterone stress hormone levels. Such indices of stress were associated with mild chronic gut inflammation, hyperglycemia, elevation in colonic cytokines, and profound alteration in gut microbiota composition. All of these SOC-induced phenotypes were eliminated by broad spectrum antibiotics, while some (inflammation and hyperglycemia) were transmitted by microbiota transplantation from SOC mice to germfree mice housed at normal density. Altogether, these results suggest a central role played by the intestinal microbiota in driving stress, inflammation, and chronic diseases that are promoted by overcrowded housing.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03395677
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Submitted on : Friday, October 22, 2021 - 2:31:08 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, October 23, 2021 - 4:09:53 AM

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Delaroque Clara, Mélissa Chervy, Andrew T Gewirtz, Benoit Chassaing. Social overcrowding impacts gut microbiota, promoting stress, inflammation and dysglycemia. 12. International Symposium on Gut Microbiology, INRAE ; Rowett Institute UK, Oct 2021, En ligne, France. ⟨hal-03395677⟩

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