Gut microbiota mediates intermittent-fasting alleviation of diabetes-induced cognitive impairment
Cognitive decline is one of the complications of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Intermittent fasting (IF) is a promising dietary intervention for alleviating T2D symptoms, but its protective effect on diabetes-driven cognitive dysfunction remains elusive. Here, we find that a 28-day IF regimen for diabetic mice improve behavioral impairment via a microbiota-metabolites-brain axis: IF enhance mitochondrial biogenesis and energy metabolism gene expression in hippocampus, re-structure the gut microbiota, and improve microbial metabolites that are related to cognitive function. Moreover, strong connections are observed between IF affected genes, microbiota and metabolites, as assessed by integrative modelling. Removing gut microbiota with antibiotics partly abolish the neuroprotective effects of IF. Administration of 3-indolepropionic acid, serotonin, short chain fatty acids or tauroursodeoxycholic acid show a similar effect to IF in terms of improving cognitive function. Together, our study purports the microbiota-metabolites-brain axis as a mechanism that can enable therapeutic strategies against metabolism-implicated cognitive pathophysiologies.