High salt diet exacerbates colitis in mice by decreasing Lactobacillus levels and butyrate production.
Results: Compared to control diet, HSD altered fecal microbiota composition and function, reducing Lactobacillus sp. relative abundance and butyrate production. Moreover, HSD affected the colonic, and to a lesser extent small intestine mucosal immunity by enhancing the expression of pro-inflammatory genes such as Rac1, Map2k1, Map2k6, Atf2, while suppressing many cytokine and chemokine genes, such as Ccl3, Ccl4, Cxcl2, Cxcr4, Ccr7. Conventionally raised mice fed with HSD developed more severe DSS- (dextran sodium sulfate) and DNBS- (dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid) induced colitis compared to mice on control diet, and this effect was absent in germ-free mice. Transfer experiments into germ-free mice indicated that the HSD-associated microbiota profile is critically dependent on continued exposure to dietary salt.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that the exacerbation of colitis induced by HSD is associated with reduction in Lactobacillus sp. and protective short-chain fatty acid production, as well as changes in host immune status. We hypothesize that these changes alter gut immune homeostasis and lead to increased vulnerability to inflammatory insults.
Microbiome. 2018 Mar 22;6(1):57. doi: 10.1186/s40168-018-0433-4. PMID: 29566748; PMCID: PMC5865374.