Dihydroquercetin supplement alleviates colonic inflammation potentially through improved gut microbiota community in mice†
The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of dietary dihydroquercetin (DHQ) supplementation on dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. Mice were given DHQ supplementation (3 g kg−1) throughout the study, starting 14 days prior to DSS treatment for 1 week followed by 2 days without DSS. The results showed that dietary DHQ supplementation restored DSS-induced disease activity index (DAI), colon length and histopathology scores of the colon tissue. Additionally, supplementation with DHQ reduced the pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, and enhanced the level of IL-10 in the serum. qPCR results indicated that DHQ supplementation significantly downregulated IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α, and upregulated IL-10 gene mRNA expression. Western blot results proved that DHQ supplementation upregulated ZO-1 and occludin levels. Using amplicon sequencing technology, 16S rRNA sequencing results showed that DHQ supplementation increased the fecal Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio and the relative abundance of Lactobacillus and Dubosiella, and decreased the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes. Additionally, DHQ supplementation restored the decreased fecal acetic acid and butyric acid concentrations in DSS-induced colitis mice. Besides, Spearman's correlation analysis showed that Dubosiella was positively correlated with the butyric acid level and Bacteroidetes was positively correlated with the mRNA expression of IL-1β and IL-6. Both Lactobacillus and Dubosiella showed a negative correlation with the mRNA expression of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α, and Dubosiella was positively correlated with IL-10. In summary, it was found that DHQ supplementation alleviated DSS-induced colitis which may be potentially associated with altered fecal microbiota communities in mice.