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Mol Syst Biol. 2008;4:205. doi: 10.1038/msb.2008.40. Epub 2008 Jul 15.

Top-down systems biology integration of conditional prebiotic modulated transgenomic interactions in a humanized microbiome mouse model.

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Division of Surgery, Oncology, Reproductive Biology and Anaesthetics, Department of Biomolecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK.


Gut microbiome-host metabolic interactions affect human health and can be modified by probiotic and prebiotic supplementation. Here, we have assessed the effects of consumption of a combination of probiotics (Lactobacillus paracasei or L. rhamnosus) and two galactosyl-oligosaccharide prebiotics on the symbiotic microbiome-mammalian supersystem using integrative metabolic profiling and modeling of multiple compartments in germ-free mice inoculated with a model of human baby microbiota. We have shown specific impacts of two prebiotics on the microbial populations of HBM mice when co-administered with two probiotics. We observed an increase in the populations of Bifidobacterium longum and B. breve, and a reduction in Clostridium perfringens, which were more marked when combining prebiotics with L. rhamnosus. In turn, these microbial effects were associated with modulation of a range of host metabolic pathways observed via changes in lipid profiles, gluconeogenesis, and amino-acid and methylamine metabolism associated to fermentation of carbohydrates by different bacterial strains. These results provide evidence for the potential use of prebiotics for beneficially modifying the gut microbial balance as well as host energy and lipid homeostasis.

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