Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 8, pp 3537–3547 | Cite as

Different host-specific responses in thyroid function and gut microbiota modulation between diet-induced obese and normal mice given the same dose of iodine

  • Huiting Shen
  • Jiaojiao Han
  • Yanyan Li
  • Chenyang LuEmail author
  • Jun Zhou
  • Ye Li
  • Xiurong SuEmail author
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Iodine is an important trace element involved in thyroid hormone biosynthesis, while diet-induced obesity is reported to disturb the trace element metabolic balance. Herein, we studied the host-specific responses involved in modulating thyroid function and gut microbiota in obese mice after the iodine treatment and analyzed the possible causes for these responses. Obesity in the mice was induced by a high-fat diet, and the obese and normal mice were treated with the same iodine dosage (18 μg/kg/day) continuously for 8 weeks. Iodine treatment in the obese mice showed a weight-reducing effect, increased the thyroid hormone concentrations, altered the transcriptions of genes involved in thyroid hormone biosynthesis, and modulated the gut microbiota with an increased abundance of pathogenic bacteria and decreased the proportion of beneficial bacteria. However, completely different or even opposite response profiles were observed in the normal hosts. Our work indicated that obesity may exacerbate the risk of thyroid disease with a relatively safe dose of iodine, and individual differences should be considered with trace element supplementation.


Obesity Iodine Thyroid dysfunction Gut microbiota 



We thank Wiley Editing Service for English language editing.

Funding information

This work was sponsored by K.C. Wong Magna Fund in Ningbo University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All experimental procedures and animal care were in accordance with the experimental animal care and use guidelines prepared by the Ningbo University Experimental Animal Center (affiliated with Zhejiang Laboratory Animal Common Service Platform), and all animal programs received approval from the Ningbo University Laboratory Animals Center under permit number No. SCXK (ZHE 2014-0001).

Supplementary material

253_2019_9687_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (561 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 560 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Marine ScienceNingbo UniversityNingboChina
  2. 2.King Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyThuwalSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, College of PharmacyUniversity of IllinoisChicagoUSA

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