International Journal Of Molecular Sciences
Alterations in the gut microbiota, "dysbiosis," have been reported in autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), and their animal models. Although the animal models were induced by injections of autoantigens with adjuvants, including complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) and pertussis toxin (PT), the effects of adjuvant injections on the microbiota are largely unknown. We aimed to clarify whether adjuvant injections could affect the microbiota in the ileum and feces. Using 16S rRNA sequencing, we found decreased alpha diversities of the gut microbiota in mice injected with CFA and PT, compared with naïve mice. Overall, microbial profiles visualized by principal component analysis demonstrated dysbiosis in feces, but not in the ileum, of adjuvant-injected mice, where the genera Lachnospiraceae NK4A136 group and Alistipes contributed to dysbiosis. When we compared the relative abundances of individual bacteria, we found changes in 16 bacterial genera in feces and seven genera in the ileum of adjuvant-injected mice, in which increased serum levels of antibody against mycobacteria (a component of CFA) and total IgG2c were correlated with the genus Facklamia. On the other hand, increased IgG1 and IgA concentrations were correlated with the genus Atopostipes. Therefore, adjuvant injections alone could alter the overall microbial profiles (i.e., microbiota) and individual bacterial abundances with altered antibody responses; dysbiosis in animal models could be partly due to adjuvant injections.