Eric Panther, Xavier Cabana Puig, Jingjing Ren, Xiaofeng Liao, Brianna Swartwout, Miranda Vieson, Leila Abdelhamid, Ashton Shiraz, Xin Luo, Christopher M. Reilly
Dysbiosis in the gut microbiota has been observed in a various autoimmune disease, including SLE, which could cause a leaky gut, triggering an immune response, and thus worsening autoimmune disease expression. In our current studies, we hypothesized that increasing dietary fiber would create a healthy microbiota environment in the gut, leading to decreased leakiness of the gut and to decreased disease expression in and NZB/NZW female lupus-like mice. NZB/NZW mice were placed on standardized high fiber (HF 30%) or low fiber (LF 0.4%) for 12 weeks beginning at 20 weeks of age. Mice were assessed as they aged for various parameters of disease including proteinuria and anti-dsDNA antibody production. Alteration of the microbiota and short chain fatty acid (SCFA) levels were also assessed. At 36 weeks-of-age, the mice were euthanized, and we assessed occlusion protein expression, splenocyte profiles, and kidney tissue. We found as the mice aged, their body weights, anti-dsDNA antibody levels, and proteinuria were not significantly different between the groups. Similarly, there were no significant differences in SCFA levels. Regarding the microbiota, Chlostridiales bacteria were consistently increased in the HF treated mice compared to the LF treated mice. Furthermore, as the mice aged, disease progression as assessed by - spleen weight, immune cell profiles, proteinuria, dsDNA levels, and kidney pathology, was not different between the HF and LF treated groups. Taken together, these results indicate that in the NZB/W female lupus mouse model, a HF diet may alter the microbiota but does not influence disease progression.