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Fermented Dairy Products Restore Intestinal Homeostatic Levels of Inflammatory Gene Expression in a Mouse Model of Diet-Induced Obesity

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Fermented Dairy Products Restore Intestinal Homeostatic Levels of Inflammatory Gene Expression in a Mouse Model of Diet-Induced Obesity.

M. Bouchard1, M. Blais, PhD1, N. Daniel2, G. Pilon, PhD2, M-J. Dubois, PhD2, S. Gauthier, PhD2, Y. Pouliot, PhD2, Y. Boutin, PhD3, D. Roy, PhD2, A. Marette, PhD2, M. Lessard, PhD1 and C. Asselin, PhD4

(1)Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada, (2)Université Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada, (3)TransBioTech, Quebec, QC, Canada, (4)Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada

Background. High fat High sugar (’western type’ HFHS) diet has been implicated in the development of many metabolic disorders, including obesity and cardiometabolic diseases. In addition, HFHS diet may lead to intestinal epithelial permeability defects and local inflammation. Because milk and fermented dairy products contain bioactive molecules that can improve intestinal health and modulate microbiota composition, they may have the potential to prevent metabolic disorders related to high fat diet.

Objective. The objective of this project was to determine whether milk and fermented dairy products prevent intestinal inflammation in a murine high-fat diet model of obesity. Methods. A total of sixty C57BL/6 mice were divided in six dietary treatments (Table 1). Mice were fed a HFHS diet containing or not skim milk concentrate (SMC), greek-like yogurt (YSMC), fermented milk (FSMC) or commercial medium cheddar cheese. After 12 weeks, jejunal, ileal and colonic epithelial segments were sampled. mRNAs were isolated and used for Q-PCR analysis to determine fold- change (log2) expression of selected intestinal defense and integrity genes. PBGD gene was used as reference, and low fat (LF) fed mice as control group, which log2 = 0.


•Jejunal and ileal IL-18 (-1.61±0.23; -1.12±0.19), Reg3β (-2.85±0.33; -1.61±0.42) and Reg3γ (-2.61±0.39; -1.28±0.5) expression was decreased (P < 0.05) in response to HFHS diet compared to mice fed LF diet.

•Nos2 expression was decreased in the jejunum (-1.35±0.19) while IL-1β expression was decreased in ileum (-0.98±0.14) of HFHS fed mice.
•Interestingly, greek-like yogurt and fermented milk restored jejunal expression of Reg3β, Reg3γ and Nos2 in mice fed HFHS diet, to basal control expression levels.
•Basal ileal Reg3β and IL-1β expression was also restored by adding greek-like yogurt to the diet.

Conclusion. Our data showed that high-fat diet altered in a specific manner  the gene expression patterns of jejunal and ileal segments compared to mice fed low fat diet. In addition, fermented dairy products, such as greek-like yogurt and fermented milk, may protect the gut from a high-fat diet by maintaining homeostatic levels of inflammatory gene expression.

Acknowledgement. This study was financially supported by the Dairy Research Cluster of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and Dairy Farmers of Canada. The authors would also  like to thank the staff of the animal housing facility of  INAF for their help during animal experimentations and Steve Méthot for his help in statistical analysis of data.

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