Background: Mood and metabolic disorders are interrelated and may share common pathological processes. Autonomic neurons link the brain with the gastrointestinal tract and constitute a likely pathway for peripheral metabolic challenges to affect behaviors controlled by the brain. The activities of neurons along these pathways are regulated by glia, which exhibit phenotypic shifts in response to changes in their microenvironment. How glial changes might contribute to the behavioral effects of consuming a high-fat diet (HFD) is uncertain. Here, we tested the hypothesis that anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors driven by consuming a HFD involve compromised duodenal barrier integrity and subsequent phenotypic changes to glia and neurons along the gut-brain axis. Methods: C57Bl/6 male mice were exposed to a standard diet or HFD for 20 weeks. Bodyweight was monitored weekly and correlated with mucosa histological damage and duodenal expression of tight junction proteins ZO-1 and occludin at 0, 6, and 20 weeks. The expression of GFAP, TLR-4, BDNF, and DCX were investigated in duodenal myenteric plexus, nodose ganglia, and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus at the same time points. Dendritic spine number was measured in cultured neurons isolated from duodenal myenteric plexuses and hippocampi at weeks 0, 6, and 20. Depressive and anxiety behaviors were also assessed by tail suspension, forced swimming, and open field tests. Results: HFD mice exhibited duodenal mucosa damage with marked infiltration of immune cells and decreased expression of ZO-1 and occludin that coincided with increasing body weight. Glial expression of GFAP and TLR4 increased in parallel in the duodenal myenteric plexuses, nodose ganglia, and hippocampus in a time-dependent manner. Glial changes were associated with a progressive decrease in BDNF, and DCX expression, fewer neuronal dendritic spines, and anxiogenic/depressive symptoms in HFD-treated mice. Fluorocitrate (FC), a glial metabolic poison, abolished these effects both in the enteric and central nervous systems and prevented behavioral alterations at week 20. Conclusions: HFD impairs duodenal barrier integrity and produces behavioral changes consistent with depressive and anxiety phenotypes. HFD-driven changes in both peripheral and central nervous systems are glial-dependent, suggesting a potential glial role in the alteration of the gut-brain signaling that occurs during metabolic disorders and psychiatric co-morbidity.

High-fat diet impairs duodenal barrier function and elicits glia-dependent changes along the gut-brain axis that are required for anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors / Seguella, Luisa; Pesce, Mirella; Capuano, Riccardo; Casano, Fabrizio; Pesce, Marcella; Corpetti, Chiara; Vincenzi, Martina; Maftei, Daniela; Lattanzi, Roberta; Del Re, Alessandro; Sarnelli, Giovanni; Gulbransen, Brian D.; Esposito, Giuseppe. - In: JOURNAL OF NEUROINFLAMMATION. - ISSN 1742-2094. - (2021). [10.1186/s12974-021-02164-5]

High-fat diet impairs duodenal barrier function and elicits glia-dependent changes along the gut-brain axis that are required for anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors

Luisa Seguella;Chiara Corpetti;Martina Vincenzi;Daniela Maftei;Roberta Lattanzi;Alessandro Del Re;Giuseppe Esposito
2021

Abstract

Background: Mood and metabolic disorders are interrelated and may share common pathological processes. Autonomic neurons link the brain with the gastrointestinal tract and constitute a likely pathway for peripheral metabolic challenges to affect behaviors controlled by the brain. The activities of neurons along these pathways are regulated by glia, which exhibit phenotypic shifts in response to changes in their microenvironment. How glial changes might contribute to the behavioral effects of consuming a high-fat diet (HFD) is uncertain. Here, we tested the hypothesis that anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors driven by consuming a HFD involve compromised duodenal barrier integrity and subsequent phenotypic changes to glia and neurons along the gut-brain axis. Methods: C57Bl/6 male mice were exposed to a standard diet or HFD for 20 weeks. Bodyweight was monitored weekly and correlated with mucosa histological damage and duodenal expression of tight junction proteins ZO-1 and occludin at 0, 6, and 20 weeks. The expression of GFAP, TLR-4, BDNF, and DCX were investigated in duodenal myenteric plexus, nodose ganglia, and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus at the same time points. Dendritic spine number was measured in cultured neurons isolated from duodenal myenteric plexuses and hippocampi at weeks 0, 6, and 20. Depressive and anxiety behaviors were also assessed by tail suspension, forced swimming, and open field tests. Results: HFD mice exhibited duodenal mucosa damage with marked infiltration of immune cells and decreased expression of ZO-1 and occludin that coincided with increasing body weight. Glial expression of GFAP and TLR4 increased in parallel in the duodenal myenteric plexuses, nodose ganglia, and hippocampus in a time-dependent manner. Glial changes were associated with a progressive decrease in BDNF, and DCX expression, fewer neuronal dendritic spines, and anxiogenic/depressive symptoms in HFD-treated mice. Fluorocitrate (FC), a glial metabolic poison, abolished these effects both in the enteric and central nervous systems and prevented behavioral alterations at week 20. Conclusions: HFD impairs duodenal barrier integrity and produces behavioral changes consistent with depressive and anxiety phenotypes. HFD-driven changes in both peripheral and central nervous systems are glial-dependent, suggesting a potential glial role in the alteration of the gut-brain signaling that occurs during metabolic disorders and psychiatric co-morbidity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1548098
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