Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an increasing global burden and a predisposing factor to colorectal cancer. Although a number of treatment options are available, the side effects could be considerable. Studies on fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) as an IBD intervention protocol require further validation as the underlying mechanisms for its attenuating effects remain unclear. This study aims to demonstrate the ameliorative role of FMT in an ulcerative colitis (UC) model induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) and elucidate its relative mechanisms in a mouse model. It was shown that FMT intervention decreased disease activity index (DAI) levels and increased the body weight, colon weight and colon length of experimental animals. It also alleviated histopathological changes, reduced key cytokine expression and oxidative status in the colon. A down-regulated expression level of genes associated with NF-κB signaling pathway was also observed. The results of 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that FMT intervention restored the gut microbiota to the pattern of the control group by increasing the relative abundance of Firmicutes and decreasing the abundances of Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. The relative abundances of the genera Lactobacillus, Butyricicoccus, Lachnoclostridium, Olsenella and Odoribacter were upregulated but Helicobacter, Bacteroides and Clostridium were reduced after FMT administration. Furthermore, FMT administration elevated the concentrations of SCFAs in the colon. In conclusion, FMT intervention could be suitable for UC control, but further validations via clinical trials are recommended.
Keywords: Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT); Gut microbiota; NF-κB signaling pathway; Ulcerative colitis (UC).