Parenteral nutrition (PN) has been a life-saving treatment in infants intolerant of enteral feedings. However, PN is associated with liver injury (PN Associated Liver Injury: PNALI) in a significant number of PN-dependent infants. We have previously reported a novel PNALI mouse model in which PN infusion combined with intestinal injury results in liver injury. In this model, lipopolysaccharide activation of toll-like receptor 4 signaling, soy oil-derived plant sterols, and pro-inflammatory activation of Kupffer cells (KCs) played key roles. The objective of this study was to explore changes in the intestinal microbiome associated with PNALI.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Microbiome analysis in the PNALI mouse identified specific alterations within colonic microbiota associated with PNALI and further association of these communities with the lipid composition of the PN solution. Intestinal inflammation or soy oil-based PN infusion alone (in the absence of enteral feeds) caused shifts within the gut microbiota. However, the combination resulted in accumulation of a specific taxon, Erysipelotrichaceae (23.8% vs. 1.7% in saline infused controls), in PNALI mice. Moreover, PNALI was markedly attenuated by enteral antibiotic treatment, which also was associated with significant reduction of Erysipelotrichaceae (0.6%) and a Gram-negative constituent, the S24-7 lineage of Bacteroidetes (53.5% in PNALI vs. 0.8%). Importantly, removal of soy oil based-lipid emulsion from the PN solution resulted in significant reduction of Erysipelotrichaceae as well as attenuation of PNALI. Finally, addition of soy-derived plant sterol (stigmasterol) to fish oil-based PN restored Erysipelotrichaceae abundance and PNALI.
Soy oil-derived plant sterols and the associated specific bacterial groups in the colonic microbiota are associated with PNALI. Products from these bacteria may directly trigger activation of KCs and promote PNALI. Furthermore, the results indicate that lipid modification of PN solutions may alter specific intestinal bacterial species associated with PNALI, and thus suggest strategies for management of PNALI.