Physical Activity Differentially Affects the Cecal Microbiota of Ovariectomized Female Rats Selectively Bred for High and Low Aerobic Capacity Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Liu, Tzu- W; Park, Young- M; Holscher, Hannah D; Padilla, Jaume; Scroggins, Rebecca J; Welly, Rebecca; Britton, Steven L; Koch, Lauren G; Vieira-Potter, Victoria J; Swanson, Kelly S


  • The gut microbiota is considered a relevant factor in obesity and associated metabolic diseases, for which postmenopausal women are particularly at risk. Increasing physical activity has been recognized as an efficacious approach to prevent or treat obesity, yet the impact of physical activity on the microbiota remains under-investigated. We examined the impacts of voluntary exercise on host metabolism and gut microbiota in ovariectomized (OVX) high capacity (HCR) and low capacity running (LCR) rats. HCR and LCR rats (age = 27 wk) were OVX and fed a high-fat diet (45% kcal fat) ad libitum and housed in cages equipped with (exercise, EX) or without (sedentary, SED) running wheels for 11 wk (n = 7-8/group). We hypothesized that increased physical activity would hinder weight gain, increase metabolic health and shift the microbiota of LCR rats, resulting in populations more similar to that of HCR rats. Animals were compared for characteristic metabolic parameters including body composition, lipid profile and energy expenditure; whereas cecal digesta were collected for DNA extraction. 16S rRNA gene-based amplicon Illumina MiSeq sequencing was performed, followed by analysis using QIIME 1.8.0 to assess cecal microbiota. Voluntary exercise decreased body and fat mass, and normalized fasting NEFA concentrations of LCR rats, despite only running one-third the distance of HCR rats. Exercise, however, increased food intake, weight gain and fat mass of HCR rats. Exercise clustered the gut microbial community of LCR rats, which separated them from the other groups. Assessments of specific taxa revealed significant (p<0.05) line by exercise interactions including shifts in the abundances of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Cyanobacteria. Relative abundance of Christensenellaceae family was higher (p = 0.026) in HCR than LCR rats, and positively correlated (p<0.05) with food intake, body weight and running distance. These findings demonstrate that exercise differentially impacts host metabolism and gut microbial communities of female HCR and LCR rats without ovarian function.

publication date

  • 2015

published in

start page

  • e0136150


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