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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Cellulose supplementation early in life ameliorates colitis in adult mice

item Nagy-szakal, Dorottya
item Hollister, Emily
item Luna, Ruth Ann
item Szigetti, Reka
item Tatevian, Nina
item Smith, C
item Versalovic, James
item Kellermayer, Richard

Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/14/2013
Publication Date: 2/20/2013
Citation: Nagy-Szakal, D., Hollister, E.B., Luna, R., Szigetti, R., Tatevian, N., Smith, C.W., Versalovic, J., Kellermayer, R. 2013. Cellulose supplementation early in life ameliorates colitis in adult mice. PLoS One. 8(2):e56685.

Interpretive Summary: To study the possible influence of fiber in the diet on inflammatory bowel disease, young mice were fed a diet rich in cellulose and then evaluated for bowel inflammation caused by the addition of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to the drinking water. While DSS is known to induce severe inflammatory bowel disease, the high fiber diet resulted in a marked reduction in disease severity. If the high fiber diet was discontinued for 40 days, disease severity from DSS significantly increased. These findings show the potential role of dietary fiber in protecting against inflammatory bowel disease, but emphasize the need for sustained intake of dietary fiber.

Technical Abstract: Decreased consumption of dietary fibers, such as cellulose, has been proposed to promote the emergence of inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis) where intestinal microbes are recognized to play an etiologic role. However, it is not known if transient fiber consumption during critical developmental periods may prevent consecutive intestinal inflammation. The incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases peaks in young adulthood indicating that pediatric environmental exposures may be important in the etiology of this disease group. We studied the effects of transient dietary cellulose supplementation on dextran sulfate sodium colitis susceptibility during the pediatric period in mice. Cellulose supplementation stimulated substantial shifts in the colonic mucosal microbiome. Several bacterial taxa decreased in relative abundance (e.g., Coriobacteriaceae [p = 0.001]), and other taxa increased in abundance (e.g., Peptostreptococcaceae [p = 0.008] and Clostridiaceae [p = 0.048]). Some of these shifts persisted for 10 days following the cessation of cellulose supplementation. The changes in the gut microbiome were associated with transient trophic and anticolitic effects 10 days following the cessation of a cellulose-enriched diet, but these changes diminished by 40 days following reversal to a low cellulose diet. These findings emphasize the transient protective effect of dietary cellulose in the mammalian large bowel and highlight the potential role of dietary fibers in amelioration of intestinal inflammation.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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