Bowel obstruction (OB) causes local and systemic dysfunctions. Here we investigated whether obstruction leads to alterations in microbiota community composition and total abundance, and if so whether these changes contribute to dysfunctions in OB. Partial colon obstruction was maintained in rats for 7 days. The mid colon and its intraluminal feces - proximal to the obstruction - were studied. OB did not cause bacterial overgrowth or mucosa inflammation, but induced profound changes in fecal microbiota composition and diversity. At the phylum level, the 16S rRNA sequencing showed a significant decrease in the relative abundance of Firmicutes with corresponding increases in Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes in OB compared with sham controls. Daily treatment using broad spectrum antibiotics dramatically reduced total bacterial abundance, but increased the relative presence of Proteobacteria. Antibiotics eliminated viable bacteria in the spleen and liver, but not in the mesentery lymph node in OB. Although antibiotic treatment decreased muscle contractility in sham rats, it had little effect on OB-associated suppression of muscle contractility or inflammatory changes in the muscle layer. In conclusion, obstruction leads to marked dysbiosis in the colon. Antibiotic eradication of microbiota had limited effects on obstruction-associated changes in inflammation, motility, or bacterial translocation.
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