N-6 high fat diet induces gut microbiome dysbiosis and colonic inflammation

Ornella I. Selmin, Andreas J. Papoutsis, Sabine Hazan, Christopher Smith, Nick Greenfield, Micah G. Donovan, Spencer N. Wren, Thomas C. Doetschman, Justin M. Snider, Ashley J. Snider, Sherry H.H. Chow, Donato F. Romagnolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Concerns are emerging that a high-fat diet rich in n-6 PUFA (n-6HFD) may alter gut microbiome and increase the risk of intestinal disorders. Research is needed to model the relationships between consumption of an n-6HFD starting at weaning and development of gut dysbiosis and colonic inflammation in adulthood. We used a C57BL/6J mouse model to compare the effects of exposure to a typical American Western diet (WD) providing 58.4%, 27.8%, and 13.7% energy (%E) from carbohydrates, fat, and protein, respectively, with those of an isocaloric and isoproteic soybean oil-rich n-6HFD providing 50%E and 35.9%E from total fat and carbohydrates, respectively on gut inflammation and microbiome profile. Methods: At weaning, male offspring were assigned to either the WD or n-6HFD through 10–16 weeks of age. The WD included fat exclusively from palm oil whereas the n-6HFD contained fat exclusively from soybean oil. We recorded changes in body weight, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression, colon histopathology, and gut microbiome profile. Results: Compared to the WD, the n-6HFD increased plasma levels of n-6 fatty acids; colonic expression of COX-2; and the number of colonic inflammatory and hyperplastic lesions. At 16 weeks of age, the n-6HFD caused a marked reduction in the gut presence of Firmicutes, Clostridia, and Lachnospiraceae, and induced growth of Bacteroidetes and Deferribacteraceae. At the species level, the n-6HFD sustains the gut growth of proinflammatory Mucispirillum schaedleri and Lactobacillus murinus. Conclusions: An n-6HFD consumed from weaning to adulthood induces a shift in gut bacterial profile associated with colonic inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6919
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Colon
  • Dysbiosis
  • Fatty acids
  • Gut
  • Inflammation
  • Omega-6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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