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Mol Autism. 2016 Sep 1;7(1):37. doi: 10.1186/s13229-016-0099-3. eCollection 2016.

Ketogenic diet modifies the gut microbiota in a murine model of autism spectrum disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Dr. NW., Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1 Canada.
2
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta Canada.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Dr. NW., Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1 Canada ; Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta Canada.
4
Department of Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta Canada ; Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta Canada ; Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Gastrointestinal dysfunction and gut microbial composition disturbances have been widely reported in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study examines whether gut microbiome disturbances are present in the BTBR(T + tf/j) (BTBR) mouse model of ASD and if the ketogenic diet, a diet previously shown to elicit therapeutic benefit in this mouse model, is capable of altering the profile.

FINDINGS:

Juvenile male C57BL/6 (B6) and BTBR mice were fed a standard chow (CH, 13 % kcal fat) or ketogenic diet (KD, 75 % kcal fat) for 10-14 days. Following diets, fecal and cecal samples were collected for analysis. Main findings are as follows: (1) gut microbiota compositions of cecal and fecal samples were altered in BTBR compared to control mice, indicating that this model may be of utility in understanding gut-brain interactions in ASD; (2) KD consumption caused an anti-microbial-like effect by significantly decreasing total host bacterial abundance in cecal and fecal matter; (3) specific to BTBR animals, the KD counteracted the common ASD phenotype of a low Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio in both sample types; and (4) the KD reversed elevated Akkermansia muciniphila content in the cecal and fecal matter of BTBR animals.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results indicate that consumption of a KD likely triggers reductions in total gut microbial counts and compositional remodeling in the BTBR mouse. These findings may explain, in part, the ability of a KD to mitigate some of the neurological symptoms associated with ASD in an animal model.

KEYWORDS:

Autism spectrum disorder; BTBR mouse; Gut microbiome; Ketogenic diet

PMID:
27594980
PMCID:
PMC5009541
DOI:
10.1186/s13229-016-0099-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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