Neonatal colonization of the gastrointestinal tract depends on mother microbiome, thus mother microbiota dysbiosis is transmitted to the offspring during the delivery and shaped by breastmilk characteristics. Here we used a murine model of UC predisposition (Winnie-/-) to evaluate the effects of maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation. Using heterozygous breeders, we obtained both Winnie-/- and C57BL/6 littermates from the same mother and compared their microbiota at weaning and adult age, using a diet enriched with 1% tomato fruit of a line – named Bronze – highly enriched in bioactive polyphenols, or Control tomato. Females received enriched diets two weeks before the beginning of the breeding and never stopped for the following six months. No significant effect was observed in regard to the percentage of Winnie-/- offspring, as with both diets the percentage was about 25% as expected. Winnie littermates from breeders fed with the Bronze-enriched diet showed reduced dysbiosis at 4 weeks of age if compared with Winnie under the Control tomato diet. This effect was then reduced when mice reached adult age. Conversely, the microbiota of C57BL/6 does not change significantly, indicating that fortified mothers-diet significantly contribute to preventing dysbiosis in genetically predisposed offspring, but has mild effects on healthy littermates and adult mice. An overall tendency towards reduced inflammation was underlined by the colon weight and the percentage of Foxp3+ cells reduction in Winnie mice fed with Bronze diet. Control diet did not show similar tendency.
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