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Abbey H. Barton

Arnaud J. Van Wettere

Abby D. Benninghoff

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Consumption of the total Western diet (TWD) in mice has been shown to increase gut inflammation, promote colon tumorigenesis, and alter fecal microbiome composition when compared to mice fed a healthy diet, i.e., AIN93G (AIN). However, it is unclear whether the gut microbiome contributes directly to colitis-associated CRC in this model. The objective of this study was to determine whether dynamic fecal microbiota transfer (FMT) from donor mice fed either the AIN basal diet or the TWD would alter colitis symptoms or colitis-associated CRC in recipient mice, which were fed either the AIN diet or the TWD, using a 2 × 2 factorial experiment design. Time-matched FMT from the donor mice fed the TWD did not significantly enhance symptoms of colitis, colon epithelial inflammation, mucosal injury, or colon tumor burden in the recipient mice fed the AIN diet. Conversely, FMT from the AIN-fed donors did not impart a protective effect on the recipient mice fed the TWD. Likewise, the composition of fecal microbiomes of the recipient mice was also affected to a much greater extent by the diet they consumed than by the source of FMT. In summary, FMT from the donor mice fed either basal diet with differing colitis or tumor outcomes did not shift colitis symptoms or colon tumorigenesis in the recipient mice, regardless of the basal diet they consumed. These observations suggest that the gut microbiome may not contribute directly to the development of disease in this animal model.

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