The Microbiome, Intestinal Function, and Arginine Metabolism of Healthy Indian Women Are Different from Those of American and Jamaican Women

Authors : Kao CC, Cope JL, Hsu JW, Dwarkanath P, Karnes JM, Luna RA, Hollister EB, Thame MM, Kurpad AV, Jahoor F

Publication Year : 2016

Abstract :

Indian women have slower arginine flux during pregnancy compared with American and Jamaican women. Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that becomes essential during periods of rapid lean tissue deposition. It is synthesized only from citrulline, a nondietary amino acid produced mainly in the gut. The gut is therefore a key site of arginine and citrulline metabolism, and gut microbiota may affect their metabolism.

The objective of this study was to identify differences in the gut microbiota of nonpregnant American, Indian, and Jamaican women and characterize the relations between the gut microbiota, gut function, and citrulline and arginine metabolism.

Thirty healthy American, Indian, and Jamaican women (n = 10/group), aged 28.3 ± 0.8 y, were infused intravenously with [guanidino-15N2]arginine, [5,5-2H2]citrulline, and [15N2]ornithine and given oral [U-13C6]arginine in the fasting and postprandial states. Fecal bacterial communities were characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

In the fasting state, Indian women had lower citrulline flux than did American and Jamaican women [7.0 ± 0.4 compared with 9.1 ± 0.4 and 8.9 ± 0.2 μmol ⋅ kg fat-free mass (FFM)-1 ⋅ h-1, P = 0.01] and greater enteral arginine conversion to ornithine than did American women (1.4 ± 0.11 compared with 1.0 ± 0.08 μmol ⋅ kg FFM-1 ⋅ h-1, P = 0.04). They also had lower mannitol excretion than American and Jamaican women (154 ± 37.1 compared with 372 ± 51.8 and 410 ± 39.6 mg/6 h, P < 0.01). Three dominant stool community types characterized by increased abundances of the genera Prevotella, Bacteroides, and Bacteroides with Clostridium were identified. Indian women had increased mean relative abundances of Prevotella (42%) compared to American and Jamaican women (7% and < 1%, P = 0.03) which were associated with diet, impaired intestinal absorptive capacity, and arginine flux.

These findings suggest that dysregulated intestinal function and a unique gut microbiome may contribute to altered arginine metabolism in Indian women.