Alterations of the gut microbiota and mucosal barrier are linked with metabolic diseases. Our aim was to investigate the potential benefit of the potential probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis 420 in reducing high-fat diet-induced body weight gain and diabetes in mice. In the obesity model, C57Bl/6J mice were fed a high-fat diet (60 energy %) for 12 weeks, and gavaged daily with B. lactis 420 (109 cfu) or vehicle. In the diabetes model, mice were fed a high-fat, ketogenic diet (72 energy % fat) for 4 weeks, with a 6-week subsequent treatment with B. lactis 420 (108-1010 cfu/day) or vehicle, after which they were analysed for body composition. We also analysed glucose tolerance, plasma lipopolysaccharide and target tissue inflammation using only one of the B. lactis 420 groups (109 cfu/day). Intestinal bacterial translocation and adhesion were analysed in a separate experiment using an Escherichia coli gavage. Body fat mass was increased in both obese (10.7 ± 0.8 g (mean ± standard error of mean) vs. 1.86 ± 0.21 g, P<0.001) and diabetic mice (3.01 ± 0.4 g vs. 1.14 ± 0.15 g, P<0.001) compared to healthy controls. Treatment with B. lactis 420 significantly decreased fat mass in obese (7.83 ± 0.67 g, P=0.007 compared to obese with vehicle) and diabetic mice (1.89 ± 0.16 g, P=0.02 for highest dose). This was reflected as reduced weight gain and improved glucose tolerance. Furthermore, B. lactis 420 decreased plasma lipopolysaccharide levels (P<0.001), liver inflammation (P=0.04), and E. coli adhesion in the distal gut (P<0.05). In conclusion, B. lactis 420 reduces fat mass and glucose intolerance in both obese and diabetic mice. Reduced intestinal mucosal adherence and plasma lipopolysaccharide suggest a mechanism related to reduced translocation of gut microbes.
Keywords: diabetes; intestinal permeability; mice; obesity; probiotics.