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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02689

Vasoactive intestinal peptide deficiency is associated with altered gut microbiota communities in male and female C57BL/6 mice

Manpreet Bains1, Caleb Laney1,  Megan Orr1,  James A. Waschek2,  Aaron C. Ericsson3* and  Glenn P. Dorsam1*
  • 1North Dakota State University, United States
  • 2Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
  • 3Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, United States

Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is crucial for gastrointestinal tract (GIT) health. VIP sustains GIT homeostasis through maintenance of the intestinal epithelial barrier and acts as a potent anti-inflammatory mediator that contributes to gut bacterial tolerance. Based on these biological functions by VIP, we hypothesized that its deficiency would alter gut microbial ecology. To this end, fecal samples from male and female VIP+/+, VIP+/- and VIP-/- littermates (n=47) were collected and 16S rRNA sequencing was conducted. Our data revealed significant changes in bacterial composition, biodiversity and weight loss from VIP-/- mice compared to VIP+/+ and VIP+/- littermates, irrespective of sex. The gut bacteria compositional changes observed in VIP-/- mice was consistent with gut microbial structure changes reported for certain inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Moreover, predicted functional changes by PICRUSt software suggested an energy surplus within the altered microbiota from VIP-/- mice. These data support that VIP plays an important role in maintaining microbiota balance, biodiversity and GIT function, and its genetic removal results in significant gut microbiota restructuring and weight loss.

Keywords: Neuropeptide, microbiota, microbiome, Gastrointestinal Tract, intestinal epithelial cells, Obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, Intestinal epithelial barrier

Received: 08 Jul 2019; Accepted: 06 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Bains, Laney, Orr, Waschek, Ericsson and Dorsam. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Aaron C. Ericsson, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, 65211, Missouri, United States,
Prof. Glenn P. Dorsam, North Dakota State University, Fargo, 58102, North Dakota, United States,