Table_1_Alterations of Serum Metabolites and Fecal Microbiota Involved in Ewe Follicular Cyst.docx
While the interactions of the gut microbiome and blood metabolome have been widely studied in polycystic ovary disease in women, follicular cysts of ewes have been scarcely investigated using these methods. In this study, the fecal microbiome and serum metabolome were used to compare between ewes diagnosed with ovarian cystic follicles and ewes with normal follicles, to investigate alterations of the fecal bacterial community composition and metabolic parameters in relation to follicular cystogenesis. Ewes from the same feeding and management system were diagnosed with a follicular cyst (n = 6) or confirmed to have normal follicles (n = 6) by using a B-mode ultrasound scanner. Blood serum and fresh fecal samples of all ewes were collected and analyzed. The α-diversity of fecal microbiome did not differ significantly between follicular cyst ewes and normal follicle ewes. Three genera (Bacteroides, Anaerosporobacter, and Angelakisella) were identified and their balance differentiated between follicular cyst and normal follicle ewes. Alterations of several serum metabolite concentrations, belonging to lipids and lipid-like molecules, organic acids and derivatives, organic oxygen compounds, benzenoids, phenylpropanoids and polyketides, and organoheterocyclic compounds, were associated with the presence of a follicular cyst. Correlation analysis between fecal bacterial communities and serum metabolites indicated a positive correlation between Anaerosporobacter and several fatty acids, and a negative correlation between Bacteroides and L-proline. These observations provide new insights for the complex interactions of the gut microbiota and the host serum lipid profiles, and support gut microbiota as a potential strategy to treat and prevent follicular cysts in sheep.