APOE genotype and postnatal chlorpyrifos exposure modulate gut microbiota and cerebral short-chain fatty acids in preweaning mice

Food Chem Toxicol. 2020 Jan;135:110872. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2019.110872. Epub 2019 Oct 14.


The gut microbiota comprises a large number of microorganisms, whose composition can be modified by genetic and environmental factors. The host's genetic background, including the different isoforms of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene, can exert an influence over microbiota composition. Exposure to the widely-used pesticide chlorpyrifos (CPF), can lead to dysbiosis and alter the levels of metabolites produced by the microbiota, such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). This study was aimed at assessing the contribution of the APOE genotype and early exposure to CPF on gut microbiota and SCFA in brain. For it, C57BL/6, apoE3-and apoE4-TR mice were orally exposed to CPF from postnatal day (PND) 10 to PND 15. Microbiota in the gut and SCFA in the brain were assessed at PND 15 after CPF exposure. Differences between genotypes at different taxonomic levels were found, A. muciniphila presented greater abundance in APOE4 genotype, but was reduced by CPF exposure. APOE and CPF influenced cerebral SCFAs, with APOE3 genotype showing the highest levels of acetic, propionic and butyric acids and CPF exposure inducing the highest levels of isovaleric and 4-methylvaleric acids. These results provide further knowledge about gut microbiota and cerebral SCFAs composition at early ages and their modulation by APOE and postnatal CPF exposure.

Keywords: APOE; Akkermansia muciniphila; Chlorpyrifos; Gut microbiota; Short-chain fatty acids.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Chlorpyrifos / administration & dosage
  • Chlorpyrifos / toxicity*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Genotype*
  • Insecticides / administration & dosage
  • Insecticides / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Weaning


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Insecticides
  • Chlorpyrifos