Article a tryptophan-deficient diet induces gut microbiota dysbiosis and increases systemic inflammation in aged mice

Ibrahim Yusufu, Kehong Ding, Kathryn Smith, Umesh D. Wankhade, Bikash Sahay, G. Taylor Patterson, Rafal Pacholczyk, Satish Adusumilli, Mark W. Hamrick, William D. Hill, Carlos M. Isales, Sadanand Fulzele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The gut microflora is a vital component of the gastrointestinal (GI) system that regulates local and systemic immunity, inflammatory response, the digestive system, and overall health. Older people commonly suffer from inadequate nutrition or poor diets, which could potentially alter the gut microbiota. The essential amino acid (AA) tryptophan (TRP) is a vital diet component that plays a critical role in physiological stress responses, neuropsychiatric health, oxidative systems, inflammatory responses, and GI health. The present study investigates the relationship between varied TRP diets, the gut microbiome, and inflammatory responses in an aged mouse model. We fed aged mice either a TRP-deficient (0.1%), TRP-recommended (0.2%), or high-TRP (1.25%) diet for eight weeks and observed changes in the gut bacterial environment and the inflammatory responses via cytokine analysis (IL-1a, IL-6, IL-17A, and IL-27). The mice on the TRP-deficient diets showed changes in their bacterial abundance of Coriobacteriia class, Acetatifactor genus, Lachnospiraceae family, Enterococcus faecalis species, Clostridium sp genus, and Oscillibacter genus. Further, these mice showed significant increases in IL-6, IL-17A, and IL-1a and decreased IL-27 levels. These data suggest a direct association between dietary TRP content, the gut microbiota microenvironment, and inflammatory responses in aged mice models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5005
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • Dysbiosis
  • Gut
  • Microbiota
  • Systemic inflammation
  • Tryptophan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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