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Abstract Title:

Benzene exposure induces gut microbiota dysbiosis and metabolic disorder in mice.

Abstract Source:

Sci Total Environ. 2020 Feb 25 ;705:135879. Epub 2019 Dec 2. PMID: 31972927

Abstract Author(s):

Rongli Sun, Kai Xu, Shuangbin Ji, Yunqiu Pu, Zhaodi Man, Jiahui Ji, Minjian Chen, Lihong Yin, Juan Zhang, Yuepu Pu

Article Affiliation:

Rongli Sun

Abstract:

The gut microbiota comprises a multispecies microbial community and is essential for maintaining health. Benzene is a widespread environmental and occupational pollutant that mainly causes blood and bone marrow abnormalities. However, the effects of benzene on gut microbiota and metabolism have not yet been investigated. In this study, C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 0, 6, 30 and 150 mg/kg benzene by subcutaneous injection for 30 days. We observed that white blood cell levels significantly decreased in the three benzene exposure groups, while red blood cell and hemoglobin levels were only changed remarkably in 30 and 150 mg/kg benzene-treated mice. The results of 16S rRNA sequencing showed that benzene exposure altered the overall structure of the gut microbial communities. In addition, significant enrichments of Actinobacteria (p < .05) at the phylum level and Helicobacter at the genus level were observed in the cecal contents and feces of mice exposed to 150 mg/kg benzene. Moreover, there was a significant negative correlation between Actinobacteria abundance and basic blood indicators, including white blood cell, red blood cell, and hemoglobin levels. Furthermore, according to LC-MS analysis, a total of 42 cecal metabolites were significantly altered by 150 mg/kg benzene. Several metabolic pathways were significantly influenced by benzene exposure, including cysteine and methionine metabolism, porphyrin and chlorophyll metabolism, steroid biosynthesis, aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis, and arginine and proline metabolism. In summary, this study demonstrated that benzene exposure causes dysbiosis of the gut microbiota and metabolic disorder in mice.

Study Type : Animal Study

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