Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cheng, Wen-Hsing

Committee Member

Wu, Tung-Lung

Committee Member

Wang, Chinling

Committee Member

Nannapaneni, Ramakrishna

Committee Member

Zhang, Li

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion


We have previously demonstrated that long-term dietary Se deficiency in old Terc-/- mice with humanized telomeres induces type-2 diabetes and exacerbates age-dependent increases in the abundance of A. muciniphila and Lachnospiraceae, which are related to obesity and metabolic syndromes. The objectives of this dissertation are: 1) to determine the minimum intake of Se required for type 2 diabetes prevention in middle-aged mice; 2) to evaluate the efficacy of A. muciniphila and R. torques (a Lachnospiraceae family member) to intervene dietary Se deficiency-induced type 2 diabetes and the underlying mechanisms; 3) to assess sex differences in the responses to dietary Se deficiency and oral gavage of such bacteria. Our results demonstrated that mice fed diets containing ≤0.10 mg Se/kg developed glucose intolerance and insulin resistance at middle-aged stage. To address objectives 2 and 3, we showed that dietary Se deficiency exacerbated type-2 diabetes-like phenotypes in males but the extent was less in females aged 7 and 13 months. Oral gavage of A. muciniphila into either antibiotics-treated or conventional mice ameliorated these phenotypes and elevated beneficial bacteria (Lactobacillus, F. prausnitzii, and Roseburia spp./E. rectale) abundance, but reduced E. coli abundance. Dietary Se deficiency decreased intestinal barrier functions and induced intestinal inflammation. In conventional mice, A. muciniphila oral gavage reversed such intestinal defects but did not affect the expression of selenoproteins. By contrast, oral gavage of R. torques did not restore dietary Se deficiency-induced type 2 diabetes-like phenotypes in female mature mice and showed opposite impacts on the change of the 4 specific genera in comparison with A. muciniphila oral gavage. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that suboptimal body Se status induces type 2 diabetes and reshapes gut microbiota in an age- and sex-dependent manner. Such metabolic defects in conventional Se-deficient mice can be alleviated by A. muciniphila but not R. torques supplement, which may counteract common intestinal defects in metabolic syndrome. In conclusion, optimal Se at nutritional level of intake is necessary to prevent type 2 diabetes. A. muciniphila is a promising supplement for alleviation of type 2 diabetes and possibly other metabolic diseases in relation to intestinal inflammation and glucose dysregulation.