Scientific reports

Potential role of fecal microbiota from patients with slow transit constipation in the regulation of gastrointestinal motility.

PMID 28348415


The gut microbiota is involved in various physiological functions, and disturbances in the host-microbiome have been proven to contribute to the dysfunction of gut; however, whether microbiota participates in the pathogenesis of constipation remains unclear. In this study, we extracted and analyzed microbiota in feces from constipated donors who had undergone effective therapy with fecal microbiota transplantation, transplanted microbiota into pseudo-germ-free mice, and measured gut motility. These mice presented with lower pellet frequency and water percentage, smaller pellet size, delayed gastrointestinal transit time, and weaker spontaneous contractions of colonic smooth muscle. To determine the mechanism underlying delayed gut motility, microbial metabolites were measured. Short chain fatty acids and secondary bile acids were decreased in mice receiving microbiota from constipated donors. Moreover, the compositional changes of gut microbiota in constipated patients were identified, including the operational taxonomic unit, and the species richness and α diversity were much greater than those in healthy volunteers. These findings suggest that alterations of the microbiome might affect gut motility via altered microbial-derived metabolites in the development of constipation, and the restoration of disturbed microbiota might improve the clinical phenotype. This study indicates that regulating the intestinal environment may be a novel therapy strategy for constipation.

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