Analysis of the Gut Microbiota in Suncus murinus, a Natural Obesity- Resistant Experimental Animal

Author(s): Mingshou Zhang, Ting Yang, Rujia Li, Shunichi Uetake, Ke Ren, Jun Li, Shuang-Qin Yi

In our recent studies, we investigated the phenomenon of obesity resistance in the Asian house shrew, Suncus murinus, which may be a suitable model to study the mechanisms of obesity resistance. In this study, we characterized the gut microbiota of S. murinus by analyzing the microbiota using libraries of cloned bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences to explore their relationship with natural obesity-resistance properties. Our findings revealed a distinct microbial profile of S. murinus, primarily dominated by Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, with a notable absence of Bacteroidetes. This composition is consistent with the obesity-resistance properties of animals. The low microbiota diversity observed in S. murinus may be associated with its unique gastrointestinal tract morphology, lack of fermentative chambers (such as a cecum), and insectivorous dietary habits. Lactic acid bacteria were abundant in the gut microbiota of S. murinus, suggesting the potential importance of lactic acid fermentation processes in this species. Helicobacter, a known human pathogen, is also present in significant quantities in the gut of S. murinus. Further research is warranted to explore the specific functions and interactions of these microbial groups in S. murinus and their broader ecological implications to contribute to the study of the mechanism of obesity in humans.

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