PLoS One 2016 13;11(5):e0155620. Epub 2016 May 13.
Division of Gastroenterology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
We have recently reported that Altered Schaedler Flora (ASF) can be used to durably engineer the gut microbiota to reduce ammonia production as an effective modality to reduce morbidity and mortality in the setting of liver injury. Here we investigated the effects of a low protein diet on ASF colonization and its ability to engineer the microbiota. Initially, ASF inoculation was similar between mice fed a normal protein diet or low protein diet, but the outgrowth of gut microbiota differed over the ensuing month. Notable was the inability of the dominant Parabacteroides ASF taxon to exclude other taxa belonging to the Bacteroidetes phylum in the setting of a low protein diet. Instead, a poorly classified yet highly represented Bacteroidetes family, S24-7, returned within 4 weeks of inoculation in mice fed a low protein diet, demonstrating a reduction in ASF resilience in response to dietary stress. Nevertheless, fecal ammonia levels remained significantly lower than those observed in mice on the same low protein diet that received a transplant of normal feces. No deleterious effects were observed in host physiology due to ASF inoculation into mice on a low protein diet. In total, these results demonstrate that low protein diet can have a pronounced effect on engineering the gut microbiota but modulation of ammonia is preserved.