Scope: Dietary fibers capable of modifying gut barrier and microbiota homeostasis affect the progression of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Here, we aim to compare modulatory effects of inulin-type fructans (ITFs), natural soluble dietary fibers with different degrees of fermentability from chicory root, on T1D development in nonobese diabetic mice.
Methods and results: Female nonobese diabetic mice were weaned to long-and short-chain ITFs [ITF(l) and ITF(s), 5%] supplemented diet up to 24 weeks. T1D incidence, pancreatic-gut immune responses, gut barrier function, and microbiota composition were analyzed. ITF(l) but not ITF(s) supplementation dampened the incidence of T1D. ITF(l) promoted modulatory T-cell responses, as evidenced by increased CD25(+)Foxp3(+)CD4(+) regulatory T cells, decreased IL17A(+)CD4(+) Th17 cells, and modulated cytokine production profile in the pancreas, spleen, and colon. Furthermore, ITF(l) suppressed NOD like receptor protein 3 caspase-1-p20-IL-1 beta inflammasome in the colon. Expression of barrier reinforcing tight junction proteins occludin and claudin-2, antimicrobial peptides beta-defensin-1, and cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide as well as short-chain fatty acid production were enhanced by ITF(l). Next-generation sequencing analysis revealed that ITF(l) enhanced Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio to an antidiabetogenic balance and enriched modulatory Ruminococcaceae and Lactobacilli.
Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that ITF(l) but not ITF(s) delays the development of T1D via modulation of gut-pancreatic immunity, barrier function, and microbiota homeostasis.