Dietary protein sources differentially affect microbiota, mTOR activity and transcription of mTOR signaling pathways in the small intestine
*Corresponding author for this work
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review
Dietary protein sources can have profound effects on host-microbe interactions in the gut that are critically important for immune resilience. However more knowledge is needed to assess the impact of different protein sources on gut and animal health. Thirty-six wildtype male C57BL/6J mice of 35 d age (n = 6/group; mean ± SEM body weight 21.9 ± 0.25 g) were randomly assigned to groups fed for four weeks with semi synthetic diets prepared with one of the following protein sources containing (300 g/kg as fed basis): soybean meal (SBM), casein, partially delactosed whey powder, spray dried plasma protein, wheat gluten meal and yellow meal worm. At the end of the experiment, mice were sacrificed to collect ileal tissue to acquire gene expression data, and mammalian (mechanistic) target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity, ileal digesta to study changes in microbiota and serum to measure cytokines and chemokines. By genome-wide transcriptome analysis, we identified fourteen high level regulatory genes that are strongly affected in SBM-fed mice compared to the other experimental groups. They mostly related to the mTOR pathway. In addition, an increased (P < 0.05) concentration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor was observed in serum of SBM-fed mice compared to other dietary groups. Moreover, by 16S rRNA sequencing, we observed that SBM-fed mice had higher (P < 0.05) abundances of Bacteroidales family S24-7, compared to the other dietary groups. We showed that measurements of genome-wide expression and microbiota composition in the mouse ileum reveal divergent responses to diets containing different protein sources, in particular for a diet based on SBM.