Microbiome-metabolome signatures in mice genetically prone to develop dementia, fed a normal or fatty diet

Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 20;8(1):4907. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23261-1.


Cognitive decline, obesity and gut dysfunction or microbial dysbiosis occur in association. Our aim was to identify gut microbiota-metabolomics signatures preceding dementia in genetically prone (3xtg) mice, with and without superimposed high-fat diet. We examined the composition and diversity of their gut microbiota, and serum and faecal metabolites. 3xtg mice showed brain hypometabolism typical of pre-demented stage, and lacked the physiological bacterial diversity between caecum and colon seen in controls. Cluster analyses revealed distinct profiles of microbiota, and serum and fecal metabolome across groups. Elevation in Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes abundance, and exclusive presence of Turicibacteraceae, Christensenellaceae, Anaeroplasmataceae and Ruminococcaceae, and lack of Bifidobacteriaceae, were also observed. Metabolome analysis revealed a deficiency in unsaturated fatty acids and choline, and an overabundance in ketone bodies, lactate, amino acids, TMA and TMAO in 3xtg mice, with additive effects of high-fat diet. These metabolic alterations were correlated with high prevalence of Enterococcaceae, Staphylococcus, Roseburia, Coprobacillus and Dorea, and low prevalence of S24.7, rc4.4 and Bifidobacterium, which in turn related to cognitive impairment and cerebral hypometabolism. Our results indicate an effect of transgenic background on gut microbiome-metabolome, enhanced by high-fat diet. The resulting profiles may precede overt cognitive impairment, suggesting their predictive or risk-stratifying potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics
  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Dementia / metabolism
  • Dementia / microbiology*
  • Diet, High-Fat*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dysbiosis / metabolism
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Gene-Environment Interaction
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Ketone Bodies / metabolism
  • Metabolome*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Peptide Fragments / genetics
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Presenilin-1 / genetics
  • Serum / microbiology
  • tau Proteins / genetics


  • APPsalpha protein, mouse
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Ketone Bodies
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Presenilin-1
  • presenilin 1, mouse
  • tau Proteins