Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 189, Issue 1, pp 134–144 | Cite as

High Doses of Copper and Mercury Changed Cecal Microbiota in Female Mice

  • Yezhao Ruan
  • Cong Wu
  • Xiaoquan Guo
  • Zheng Xu
  • Chenghong Xing
  • Huabin Cao
  • Caiying Zhang
  • Guoliang HuEmail author
  • Ping LiuEmail author


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of high doses of copper (Cu) and mercury (Hg) on the cecal microbiota in female mice. Forty-eight Kunming mice were randomly divided into the control group (CCk group), the Cu group (CCu group), the Hg group (CHg group), and the Cu + Hg group (CCH group). At the 90th day, cecal tissues were prepared for histopathological analysis and cecal contents for analysis by 16S rRNA sequencing method. Cecal tissues from treatment groups had histopathological lesions including increased thickness of inner muscularis and outer muscularis, widened submucosa, decreased goblet cells, mild to moderate necrosis of enterocytes, blunting of intestinal villi, and severe atrophy of central lacteal. Furthermore, compared to the CCk group, the abundance of bacteria genera Rikenella, Jeotgailcoccus, and Staphylococcus were significantly decreased, whereas the bacteria genus Corynebacterium was significantly increased in the CCu group. The abundance of bacteria genera of Sporosarcina, Jeotgailcoccus, and Staphylococcus were significantly decreased in the CHg group and CCH group. The bacteria genus Anaeroplasma was significantly increased in the CCH group. The results indicated that high doses of Cu and Hg caused histopathological lesions and changed the diversity of microbiota in the cecum of female mice, which provide a theoretical basis for more accurate assessment of the risk in intestinal diseases caused by Cu and Hg.


Copper Mercury Cecum Microbiota 16S rRNA Mice 


Funding Information

This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China grant (No. 31492266, Beijing, P. R. China) awarded to PL, the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi Province grant (No. 20171ACB21026) awarded to PL and the Technology R&D Program of Jiangxi Province grant (No. GJJ170243, Nanchang, P. R. China) awarded to PL.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All animals used in this experiment were approved by the Committee of Animal Welfare. Animal studies and experiments were approved and carried out according to Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee guidelines at College of Animal Science and Technology, Jiangxi Agricultural University.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangxi Provincial Key Laboratory for Animal Health, Institute of Animal Population Health Economic and Technological Development District, College of Animal Science and TechnologyJiangxi Agricultural UniversityNanchangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Statistics and Quantitative Life Sciences InitiativeThe University of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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