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

Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01305

The regulation of ruminal short-chain fatty acids on the functions of rumen barriers

 Hong Shen1,  Zhihui Xu1, Zanming Shen1 and  Zhongyan Lu1*
  • 1Nanjing Agricultural University, China

The rumen barriers, constituted by the microbial, physical and immune barrier, prevent the transmission of pathogens and toxins to the host tissue in the maintenance of host-microbe homeostasis. Ruminal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are the important signaling molecules derived from the rumen microbiota, regulate a variety of physiological functions of the rumen. So far, how the ruminal SCFAs regulate the function of rumen barriers is unclear. By the combined methods of transcriptome sequencing, 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and metagenome shotgun sequencing, we have investigated the regulatory effects of ruminal SCFAs on the functions of rumen barriers, by determining the composition and functions of epimural microbiota and on the structure and immunity of the rumen epithelium in goats receiving a 10% (LC group), 35% (MC group), or 65% concentrate diet (HC group). We found that, when the dietary concentrate shifted from 10% to 35%, the increase of total SCFA is associated with the diversification of epimural microbiota and the diversity of its gene pool. Within the microbial community, the relative abundance of genera Sphingobium, Acinetobacter, and Streptococcus increase mostly. Meantime, the signals on pathways concerning the mechanical connections and growth homeostasis in the rumen epithelium were upregulated. Under these conditions, the responses of immune components in the rumen epithelium decrease. However, when the dietary concentrate shifted from 35% to 65%, the increase of acetate and reduction of pH decrease the diversity of epimural microbiota and the diversity of its gene pool. Within the microbial community, the relative abundance of genera Sphingobium, Acinetobacter, and Streptococcus significantly decrease. Concomitantly, the signals on pathways concerning the cell growth and tight junction disruption were upregulated, while the signals on pathways concerning paracellular permeability were downregulated. Under these conditions, the signals on the pathways relating to the immune components increase. Our data thus indicates that diet-SCFA axis maintains the host-microbe homeostasis via promoting the diversification of epimural microbiota and maintaining the integrity of rumen epithelium in healthy animals, while via enhancing the activities of immune barrier in animal with lower rumen pH.

Keywords: Epimural microbiota, Rumen Barrier, short-chain fatty acids, Epithelium Physiology, microbe-host interactions

Received: 07 Jan 2019; Accepted: 30 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Shen, Xu, Shen and Lu. 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: Dr. Zhongyan Lu, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, 210095, Jiangsu Province, China, luzhongyan@njau.edu.cn