Introduction: The interaction between isoflavones and the gut microbiota has been highlighted as a potential regulator of obesity and diabetes. In this study, we examined the interaction between isoflavones and a shortened activity photoperiod on the gut microbiome. Methods: Male mice were exposed to a diet containing no isoflavones (NIF) or a regular diet (RD) containing the usual isoflavones level found in a standard vivarium chow. These groups were further divided into regular (12L:12D) or short active (16L:8D) photoperiod, which mimics seasonal changes observed at high latitudes. White adipose tissue and genes involved in lipid metabolism and adipogenesis processes were analysed. Bacterial genomic DNA was isolated from fecal boli, and 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing was performed. Results: NIF diet increased body weight and adipocyte size when compared to mice on RD. The lack of isoflavones and photoperiod alteration also caused dysregulation of lipoprotein lipase (Lpl), glucose transporter type 4 (Glut-4) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg) genes. Using 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing, we found that mice fed the NIF diet had a greater proportion of Firmicutes than Bacteroidetes when compared to animals on the RD. These alterations were accompanied by changes in the endocrine profile, with lower thyroid-stimulating hormone levels in the NIF group compared to the RD. Interestingly, the NIF group displayed increased locomotion as compared to the RD group. Conclusion: Together, these data show an interaction between the gut bacterial communities, photoperiod length and isoflavone compounds, which may be essential for understanding and improving metabolic health.
- circadian rhythms
- gut brain axis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism