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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Research Project #438810

Research Project: Effects of Chlorine on Gut Microbiota in the Mouse Models

Location: Dairy and Functional Foods Research

Project Number: 8072-41000-108-04-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2020
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

Gut microbiota is closely related to human health and disease through modulating metabolic functions of nutrient absorption, trophic effects on the intestinal epithelium, and protection against non-commensal microbes. The addition of chlorine to drinking water has been found to alter the enteric environment and therefore potentially affect the biology and distribution of the gut microbiota. This in turn could affect many aspects of human health. In special animal studies, the chlorine in drinking water has been shown to affect tumorigenesis. Here we seek to study the broad effects of chlorine on gut microbiota health in mouse models.

Mice strains C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ will be used in the designed experiments. Two sets of breeder mice will be ordered for each strain, 8 mice in total. Upon receiving the mice, they and their offspring will be maintained using a chlorine-free diet and chlorine-free water. The chlorine-free diet and chlorine-free water will be obtained from PMI International and Deer Park, respectively. After quarantine, the breeders will be paired, resulting in the addition of 2 generations of mice. The mice bred for this experiment will be maintained under chlorine-free conditions by the PI’s staff (Indiana University). To begin the experiment, experimental cohorts of mice (60 mice) will be fed with water and food prepared with chlorine (water up to 5 mg/liter, food 5g/kg). The control group (12 mice) will be fed with a chlorine-free diet and chlorine-free water. The mice will be monitored over the course of 4-8 weeks. The following analyses will be carried on the sample collected. 1. Major metabolic components will be analyzed, including chlorine. 2. Microbiota metagenomic analysis, using next generation 16S rRNA technology. 3. The gene expression profile of microbiota will be analyzed by Helicos single molecule sequencing and analyzed.