Resistant starch induces catabolic but suppresses immune and cell division pathways and changes the microbiome in the proximal colon of male pigs

Consumption of resistant starch (RS) has been associated with various intestinal health benefits, but knowledge of its effects on global gene expression in the colon is limited. The main objective of the current study was to identify genes affected by RS in the proximal colon to infer which biologic pathways were modulated. Ten 17-wk-old male pigs, fitted with a cannula in the proximal colon for repeated collection of tissue biopsy samples and luminal content, were fed a digestible starch (DS) diet or a diet high in RS (34%) for 2 consecutive periods of 14 d in a crossover design. Analysis of the colonic transcriptome profiles revealed that, upon RS feeding, oxidative metabolic pathways, such as the tricarboxylic acid cycle and β-oxidation, were induced, whereas many immune response pathways, including adaptive and innate immune system, as well as cell division were suppressed. The nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ was identified as a potential key upstream regulator. RS significantly (P < 0.05) increased the relative abundance of several butyrate-producing microbial groups, including the butyrate producers Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Megasphaera elsdenii, and reduced the abundance of potentially pathogenic members of the genus Leptospira and the phylum Proteobacteria. Concentrations in carotid plasma of the 3 main short-chain fatty acids acetate, propionate, and butyrate were significantly higher with RS consumption compared with DS consumption. Overall, this study provides novel insights on effects of RS in proximal colon and contributes to our understanding of a healthy diet.


D. Haenen, C. Souza da Silva, J. Zhang, S.J. Koopmans, G. Bosch, J.J.M. Vervoort, W.J. Gerrits, B. Kemp, H. Smidt, M. Müller, G.J. Hooiveld
Authors from the NMC: 
2013; 143 (12): 1889-1898
Published in: 
Journal of Nutrition
Date of publication: 
December, 2013
Status of the publication: