Decreased consumption of dietary fibers, such as cellulose, has been proposed to promote the emergence of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD: Crohn disease [CD] and ulcerative colitis [UC]) where intestinal microbes are recognized to play an etiologic role. However, it is not known if transient fiber consumption during critical developmental periods may prevent consecutive intestinal inflammation. The incidence of IBD peaks in young adulthood indicating that pediatric environmental exposures may be important in the etiology of this disease group. We studied the effects of transient dietary cellulose supplementation on dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis susceptibility during the pediatric period in mice. Cellulose supplementation stimulated substantial shifts in the colonic mucosal microbiome. Several bacterial taxa decreased in relative abundance (e.g., Coriobacteriaceae [p = 0.001]), and other taxa increased in abundance (e.g., Peptostreptococcaceae [p = 0.008] and Clostridiaceae [p = 0.048]). Some of these shifts persisted for 10 days following the cessation of cellulose supplementation. The changes in the gut microbiome were associated with transient trophic and anticolitic effects 10 days following the cessation of a cellulose-enriched diet, but these changes diminished by 40 days following reversal to a low cellulose diet. These findings emphasize the transient protective effect of dietary cellulose in the mammalian large bowel and highlight the potential role of dietary fibers in amelioration of intestinal inflammation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)