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Dietary magnesium deficiency alters gut microbiota and leads to depressive-like behaviour

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 February 2015

Gudrun Winther*
Affiliation:
Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Skovagervej 2, DK-8240 Risskov, Denmark
Betina M Pyndt Jørgensen
Affiliation:
Section of Experimental Animal Models, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 57, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
Betina Elfving
Affiliation:
Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Skovagervej 2, DK-8240 Risskov, Denmark
Denis Sandris Nielsen
Affiliation:
Department of Food Science, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Pernille Kihl
Affiliation:
Section of Experimental Animal Models, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 57, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
Sten Lund
Affiliation:
Medical Department MEA (Endocrinology and Diabetes), Aarhus University Hospital, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Dorte Bratbo Sørensen
Affiliation:
Section of Experimental Animal Models, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 57, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
Gregers Wegener
Affiliation:
Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Skovagervej 2, DK-8240 Risskov, Denmark Pharmaceutical Centre of Excellence, School of Pharmacy, North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
*
Gudrun Winther, Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Skovagervej 2, DK-8240 Risskov, Denmark. Tel: +457 847 1141; E-mail: gudrun.winther@clin.au.dk

Abstract

Objective

Gut microbiota (GM) has previously been associated with alterations in rodent behaviour, and since the GM is affected by the diet, the composition of the diet may be an important factor contributing to behavioural changes. Interestingly, a magnesium restricted diet has been shown to induce anxiety and depressive-like behaviour in humans and rodents, and it could be suggested that magnesium deficiency may mediate the effects through an altered GM.

Methods

The present study therefore fed C57BL/6 mice with a standard diet or a magnesium deficient diet (MgD) for 6 weeks, followed by behavioural testing in the forced swim test (FST) to evaluate depressive-like behaviour. An intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (GTT) was performed 2 day after the FST to assess metabolic alterations. Neuroinflammatory markers were analysed from hippocampus. GM composition was analysed and correlated to the behaviour and hippocampal markers.

Results

It was found that mice exposed to MgD for 6 weeks were more immobile than control mice in the FST, suggesting an increased depressive-like behaviour. No significant difference was detected in the GTT. GM composition correlated positively with the behaviour of undisturbed C57BL/6 mice, feeding MgD diet altered the microbial composition. The altered GM correlated positively to the hippocampal interleukin-6.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we hypothesise that imbalances of the microbiota–gut–brain axis induced by consuming a MgD diet, contributes to the development of depressive-like behaviour.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2015 

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