Research Paper Volume 10, Issue 6 pp 1257—1267

Abnormal gut microbiota composition contributes to cognitive dysfunction in SAMP8 mice

Gaofeng Zhan1, , Ning Yang1, , Shan Li1, , Niannian Huang1, , Xi Fang1, , Jie Zhang1, , Bin Zhu2, , Ling Yang2, , Chun Yang1, , Ailin Luo1, ,

  • 1 Department of Anesthesiology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
  • 2 Department of Cardiology and Critical Care Medicine, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China
* Equal contribution

Received: April 8, 2018       Accepted: May 30, 2018       Published: June 10, 2018
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2018 Zhan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by cognitive dysfunction and aging is an important predisposing factor; however, the pathological and therapeutic mechanisms are not fully understood. Recently, the role of gut microbiota in Alzheimer’s disease has received increasing attention. The cognitive function in senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) mice was significantly decreased and the Chao 1 and Shannon indices, principal coordinates analysis, and principal component analysis results were notably abnormal compared with that of those in senescence-accelerated mouse resistant 1 (SAMR1) mice. Moreover, 27 gut bacteria at six phylogenetic levels differed between SAMP8 and SAMR1 mice. In a separate study, we transplanted fecal bacteria from SAMP8 or SAMR1 mice into pseudo germ-free mice. Interestingly, the pseudo germ-free mice had significantly lower cognitive function prior to transplant. Pseudo germ-free mice that received fecal bacteria transplants from SAMR1 mice but not from SAMP8 mice showed improvements in behavior and in α-diversity and β-diversity indices. In total, 14 bacteria at six phylogenetic levels were significantly altered by the gut microbiota transplant. These results suggest that cognitive dysfunction in SAMP8 mice is associated with abnormal composition of the gut microbiota. Thus, improving abnormal gut microbiota may provide an alternative treatment for cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease.


Aβ: β-amyloid protein; AD: Alzheimer’s disease; ANOVA: analysis of variance; APP: amyloid precursor protein; CNS: central nervous system; MWMT: Morris water maze test; NMDS: non-metric multi-dimensional scaling; PCA: principal component analysis; PCoA: principal coordinates analysis; PS1: presenilin 1; SAMP8: senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8; SAMR1: senescence-accelerated mouse resistant 1; WT: wild-type.