Exposure to Formaldehyde (FA) results in many pathophysiological symptoms, however the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Given the complicated modulatory role of intestinal microbiota on human health, we hypothesized that interactions between FA and the gut microbiome may account for FA’s toxicity. Balb/c mice were allocated randomly to three groups: a control group, a methanol group (0.1 and 0.3 ng/mL MeOH subgroups), and an FA group (1 and 3 ng/mL FA subgroups). Groups of either three or six mice were used for the control or experiment. We applied high-throughput sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene approaches and investigated possible alterations in the composition of mouse gut microbiota induced by FA. Changes in bacterial genera induced by FA exposure were identified. By analyzing KEGG metabolic pathways predicted by PICRUSt software, we also explored the potential metabolic changes, such as alpha-Linolenic acid metabolism and pathways in cancer, associated with FA exposure in mice. To the best of our knowledge, this preliminary study is the first to identify changes in the mouse gut microbiome after FA exposure, and to analyze the relevant potential metabolisms. The limitation of this study: this study is relatively small and needs to be further confirmed through a larger study.
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