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Neurosci Lett. 2018 Jan 1;662:98-104. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2017.10.008. Epub 2017 Oct 6.

Intestinal microbiota impact sepsis associated encephalopathy via the vagus nerve.

Author information

1
Second Department of Surgery, The Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, 12 Jiankang Road, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050011, PR China; Department of Emergency, Hebei General Hospital, 348 Heping Road, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050011, PR China.
2
Second Department of Surgery, The Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, 12 Jiankang Road, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050011, PR China.
3
Department of Emergency, Hebei General Hospital, 348 Heping Road, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050011, PR China.
4
Second Department of Surgery, The Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, 12 Jiankang Road, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050011, PR China. Electronic address: lizhongxin99@163.com.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The pathogenesis of sepsis associated encephalopathy (SAE) remains poorly understood. Vagus nerve plays an important role in gut-microbiota-brain axis. This study aimed to investigate whether vague nerve is a key mediator of the impact of intestinal microbiota on SAE.

METHODS:

Male rats were randomly divided into four groups (n=20): SHAM (SH) group, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) group, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) +LPS group, and vagotomy (VGX)+LPS+FMT group. The left cervical vagotomy was performed 30min before LPS administration in LPS+FMT+VGX group. LPS+ FMT and LPS+FMT+VGX groups received nasogastric infusion of feces from healthy donor three times a day. Fecal samples were collected every two days to monitor changes in microbiota composition by 16S rDNA analysis. Brain function was evaluated by behavioral tests and EEG. The levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-10 in brain cortex were detected by ELISA. The expression of Iba-1 in brain cortex was assessed by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis.

RESULTS:

Significant modification of microbiota composition, characterized by a profound increase of commensals in the Firmicutes phylum and depletion of opportunistic organisms in the Proteobacteria phylum, was observed in FMT groups compared to LPS group. Furthermore, we identified a reconstituted bacterial community enriched in Firmicutes and depleted of Proteobacteria. In both FMT groups the diversity of the fecal microbiota and the microbiota composition were similar to SH group. LPS mice treated with FMT demonstrated a better spatial memory and less EEG abnormalities, significantly attenuated levels of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and decreased number of Iba-1 positive microglia in the cortex, but these beneficial effects of FMT were reversed by VGX.

CONCLUSIONS:

FMT can change intestinal microbiota in sepsis patients, and vagus nerve is a key mediator between intestinal microbiota and SAE. These findings suggest that FMT and vagus nerve are potential therapy targets for treating SAE.

KEYWORDS:

Fecal microbiota; Gut-microbiota-brain axis; Intestinal microbiota; Sepsis; Sepsis associated encephalopathy; Vagotomy; Vagus nerve

PMID:
28993208
DOI:
10.1016/j.neulet.2017.10.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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