Aim: To evaluate gut microbial dysbiosis in two visceral hypersensitive models in comparison with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients and to explore the extent to which these models capture the dysbiosis of IBS patients.
Methods: Visceral hypersensitivity was developed using the maternal separation (MS) rat model and post-inflammatory rat model. The visceral sensitivity of the model groups and control group was evaluated using the abdominal withdraw reflex score and electromyography in response to graded colorectal distention. The 16S ribosomal RNA gene from fecal samples was pyrosequenced and analyzed. The correlation between dysbiosis in the microbiota and visceral hypersensitivity was calculated. Positive findings were compared to sequencing data from a published human IBS cohort.
Results: Dysbiosis triggered by neonatal maternal separation was lasting but not static. Both MS and post-inflammatory rat fecal microbiota deviated from that of the control rats to an extent that was larger than the co-housing effect. Two short chain fatty acid producing genera, Fusobacterium and Clostridium XI, were shared by the human IBS cohort and by the maternal separation rats and post-inflammatory rats, respectively, to different extents. Fusobacterium was significantly increased in the MS group, and its abundance positively correlated with the degree of visceral hypersensitivity. Porphyromonadaceae was a protective biomarker for both the rat control group and healthy human controls.
Conclusion: The dysbiosis MS rat model and the post-inflammatory rat model captured some of the dysbiosis features of IBS patients. Fusobacterium, Clostridium XI and Porphyromonadaceae were identified as targets for future mechanistic research.
Keywords: 16S rRNA gene; Animal model; Irritable bowel syndrome; Microbiota; Pyrosequencing.