Recently, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) have been shown to play an important role in mediating the gut–brain interaction and thereby participate in the patho-physiological process of stress-related disorders. In the current study, we examined whether SCFA generated in the lower gut affects host metabolic and behavioral characteristics. To determine this, we used special diets containing acylated starches that can reach the colon without being absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract of male mice. The delivery of SCFA to the colon using this method induced a substantial increase in acetate, butyrate, and propionate in the cecum. Moreover, the diets containing acylated starches also decreased microbial diversity in the cecum, concomitant with a significant impact on microbial composition. In marble-burying (MB) tests, the mice that consumed diets containing acetylated starches showed a decrease in anxiety-like behavior compared with the mice that consumed diets containing either butyrylated or propionylated starches. Cecal acetate contents were significantly associated with anxiety-like behaviors when evaluated by elevated plus-maze and MB tests. Collectively, these results indicate that gut acetate elevation of a dietary origin may exert anxiolytic effects on behavioral phenotypes of the host.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience