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Dysbiosis of the Human Oral Microbiome During the Menstrual Cycle and Vulnerability to the External Exposures of Smoking and Dietary Sugar

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Physiological hormonal fluctuations exert endogenous pressures on the structure and function of the human microbiome. As such, the menstrual cycle may selectively disrupt the homeostasis of the resident oral microbiome, thus compromising oral health. Hence, the aim of the present study was to structurally and functionally profile the salivary microbiome of 103 women in reproductive age with regular menstrual cycle, while evaluating the modifying influences of hormonal contraceptives, sex hormones, diet, and smoking. Whole saliva was sampled during the menstrual, follicular, and luteal phases (n = 309) of the cycle, and the participants reported questionnaire-based data concerning their life habits and oral or systemic health. No significant differences in alpha-diversity or phase-specific clustering of the overall microbiome were observed. Nevertheless, the salivary abundances of genera Campylobacter, Haemophilus, Prevotella, and Oribacterium varied throughout the cycle, and a higher species-richness was observed during the luteal phase. While the overall community structure maintained relatively intact, its functional properties were drastically affected. In particular, 11 functional modules were differentially abundant throughout the menstrual cycle, including pentose phosphate metabolism, and biosynthesis of cobalamin and neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid. The menstrual cycle phase, but not oral contraceptive usage, was accountable for greater variations in the metabolic pathways of the salivary microbiome. Further co-risk factor analysis demonstrated that Prevotella and Veillonella were increased in current smokers, whereas high dietary sugar consumption modified the richness and diversity of the microbiome during the cycle. This is the first large study to systematically address dysbiotic variations of the oral microbiome during the course of menstrual cycle, and document the additive effect of smoking and sugar consumption as environmental risk factors. It reveals the structural resilience and functional adaptability of the oral microbiome to the endogenous hormonal pressures of the menstrual cycle, while revealing its vulnerability to the exogenous exposures of diet and smoking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number625229
JournalFrontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
Volume11
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
ISSN2235-2988
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Bostanci, Krog, Hugerth, Bashir, Fransson, Boulund, Belibasakis, Wannerberger, Engstrand, Nielsen and Schuppe-Koistinen.

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • diet, hormonal contraceptives, menstrual cycle, oral microbiome, saliva, shotgun sequencing, sugar, women’s health

ID: 64732324