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SOJ Microbiol Infect Dis. 2016;4(1). doi: 10.15226/sojmid/4/1/00148. Epub 2016 Jun 1.

Food Additive P-80 Impacts Mouse Gut Microbiota Promoting Intestinal Inflammation, Obesity and Liver Dysfunction.

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Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, ON, Canada.
Japan Science and Technology Agency Kawaguchi, Saitama, Japan.


The increasing prevalence of obesity has emerged as one of the most important global public health issue. The change to the human microbiome as a result of changes in the quality and quantity of food intake over the past several decades has been implicated in the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome. We administered polysorbate-80 to mice via gavage. The researchers monitor liver noninvasively using a bioluminescence imaging. For the liver dysfunction we measure the liver enzymes and PAS stain on liver, electron microscopy liver mitochondria. For the assessment of intestinal inflammation we measured fecal LCN2, LPS, MPO and flagellin by ELISA and qPCR. We use confocal microscopy to detect closet bacteria near the epithelium. 16S sequence was used for the composition of microbiota. Compared with control mice, those receiving emulsifier, showed impaired glycemic tolerance, hyperinsulinemia, altered liver enzymes, larger mitochondria and increased gall bladder size. Additionally, mice in the experimental group showed higher levels of DCA, reduced Muc2 RNA expression, reduced mucus thickness in the intestinal epithelium and increased gut permeability. Intestinal bacteria of mice receiving P-80 were found deeper in the mucus and closer to the intestinal epithelium and had increased level of bioactive LPS, flagellin and LCN2 expression. The result of the study are supportive of evidence that emulsifier agents such as polysorbate-80, may be contributing to obesity related intestinal inflammation and progression of liver dysfunction and alternation of gut microbiota.

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