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Open Access Effects of Intraoperative Vagal Nerve Stimulation on the Gastrointestinal Microbiome in a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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The gastrointestinal microbiota (GM) plays a fundamental role in health and disease and contributes to the bidirectional signaling between the gastrointestinal system and brain. The direct line of communication between these organ systems is through the vagus nerve. Therefore, vagal nerve stimulation (VNS), a commonly used technique for multiple disorders, has potential to modulate the enteric microbiota, enabling investigation and possibly treatment of numerous neurologic disorders in which the microbiota has been linked with disease. Here we investigate the effect of VNS in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). B6SJL-Tg(SOD1*G93A) dl 1Gur (SOD1 dl ) and wildtype mice underwent ventral neck surgery to access the vagus nerve. During surgery, the experimental group received 1 h of VNS, whereas the sham group underwent 1 h of sham treatment. The third (control) group did not undergo any surgical manipulation. Fecal samples were collected before surgery and at 8 d after the initial collection. Microbial DNA was sequenced to determine the GM profiles at both time points. GM profiles did not differ between genotypes at either the initial or end point. In addition, VNS did not alter GM populations, according to the parameters chosen in this study, indicating that this short intraoperative treatment is safe and has no lasting effects on the GM. Future studies are warranted to determine whether different stimulation parameters or chronic use of VNS affect GM profiles.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Metagenomics Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri;, Email: [email protected] 2: Metagenomics Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 3: Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

Publication date: December 1, 2018

This article was made available online on November 13, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Effects of Intraoperative Vagal Nerve Stimulation on the Gastrointestinal Microbiome in a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis".

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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