BACKGROUND: This study investigated the effects of fish oil and olive oil in improving dysbiosis and depressive-like symptoms. METHODS AND RESULTS: Male rats were fed normal, fish oil-rich or olive oil-rich diets for 14 weeks. Chronic mild stress (CMS) was administered from week 2. The sucrose preference test (SPT) and forced swimming test (FST) were used to determine depressive-like behavior. The SPT results revealed that the CMS, CMS with imipramine (CMS+P) treatment, and CMS with olive oil diet (CMS+O) groups exhibited significantly reduced sucrose intake from week 8, whereas the fish oil diet (CMS+F) group exhibited significantly reduced sucrose intake from week 10. The FST results showed that the immobile time of the CMS+F group was significantly less than that of the CMS-only group. Next generation sequencing (NGS) results showed CMS significantly reduced the abundance of Lactobacillus and increased that of Marvinbryantia and Ruminiclostridium_6. However, the CMS+F group showed an increase in the abundance of Eisenbergiella, Ruminococcaceae_UCG_009, and Holdemania, whereas the CMS+O group showed an increase in the abundance of Akkermansia. CONCLUSIONS: CMS stimuli altered the gut microbiome in depressed rats. Fish oil and olive oil exerted part of a prebiotic-like effect to ameliorate dysbiosis induced by CMS. However, only fish oil ameliorated depressive-like symptoms.
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