Responsiveness of cardiometabolic-related microbiota to diet is influenced by host genetics

Mamm Genome. 2014 Dec;25(11-12):583-99. doi: 10.1007/s00335-014-9540-0. Epub 2014 Aug 27.


Intestinal microbial community structure is driven by host genetics in addition to environmental factors such as diet. In comparison with environmental influences, the effect of host genetics on intestinal microbiota, and how host-driven differences alter host metabolism is unclear. Additionally, the interaction between host genetics and diet, and the impact on the intestinal microbiome and possible down-stream effect on host metabolism is not fully understood, but represents another aspects of inter-individual variation in disease risk. The objectives of this study were to investigate how diet and genetic background shape microbial communities, and how these diet- and genetic-driven microbial differences relate to cardiometabolic phenotypes. To determine these effects, we used the 8 progenitor strains of the collaborative cross/diversity outbred mapping panels (C57BL/6J, A/J, NOD/ShiLtJ, NZO/HILtJ, WSB/EiJ, CAST/EiJ, PWK/PhJ, and 129S1/SvImJ). 16s rRNA profiling of enteric microbial communities in addition to the assessment of phenotypes central to cardiometabolic health was conducted under baseline nutritional conditions and in response to diets varying in atherogenic nutrient (fat, cholesterol, cholic acid) composition. These studies revealed strain-driven differences in enteric microbial communities which were retained with dietary intervention. Diet-strain interactions were seen for a core group of cardiometabolic-related microbial taxa. In conclusion, these studies highlight diet and genetically regulated cardiometabolic-related microbial taxa. Furthermore, we demonstrate the progenitor model is useful for nutrigenomic-based studies and screens seeking to investigate the interaction between genetic background and the phenotypic and microbial response to diet.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / genetics
  • Atherosclerosis / microbiology
  • Body Composition
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Diet, Atherogenic
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Microbiota*
  • Phenotype
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Species Specificity


  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S