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Nat Commun. 2014 Jul 29;5:4500. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5500.

Individual diet has sex-dependent effects on vertebrate gut microbiota.

Author information

1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, One University Station C0990, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.
2
Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, One University Station C0990, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.
3
1] Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden [2] Program Man-Society-Environment, University of Basel, Vesalgasse 1, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland.
4
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0216, USA.
5
Department of Medicine/Division of Cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1675, USA.
6
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and BioFrontiers Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0215, USA.
7
1] Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011, USA [2] Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.
8
Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.

Abstract

Vertebrates harbour diverse communities of symbiotic gut microbes. Host diet is known to alter microbiota composition, implying that dietary treatments might alleviate diseases arising from altered microbial composition ('dysbiosis'). However, it remains unclear whether diet effects are general or depend on host genotype. Here we show that gut microbiota composition depends on interactions between host diet and sex within populations of wild and laboratory fish, laboratory mice and humans. Within each of two natural fish populations (threespine stickleback and Eurasian perch), among-individual diet variation is correlated with individual differences in gut microbiota. However, these diet-microbiota associations are sex dependent. We document similar sex-specific diet-microbiota correlations in humans. Experimental diet manipulations in laboratory stickleback and mice confirmed that diet affects microbiota differently in males versus females. The prevalence of such genotype by environment (sex by diet) interactions implies that therapies to treat dysbiosis might have sex-specific effects.

PMID:
25072318
PMCID:
PMC4279269
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5500
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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