Glycoconjugate Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 9, pp 889–897 | Cite as

Changes in bacterial glycolipids as an index of intestinal lactobacilli and epithelial glycolipids in the digestive tracts of mice after administration of penicillin and streptomycin

  • Masao Iwamori
  • Yuriko Iwamori
  • Shigeki Adachi
  • Taisei Nomura


The major lipid constituent of symbiotic gram-positive bacteria in animals are phosphatidylglycerol, cardiolipin and dihexaosyl diglycerides (DH-DG), whose hydrophobic structures are characteristic of the environments, and the carbohydrate structures of DH-DGs are bacterial species-characteristic. Immunization of rabbits with intestinal lactobacilli generated antibodies against DH-DGs and their modified structures, among which Galα1-6-substituted DH-DG, i.e., Lactobacillus tetrahexaosyl diglyceride (LacTetH-DG), reacted with antibodies more intensely than DH-DG. Whereas, from the 16S-rRNA sequence, the intestinal lactobacilli in murine digestive tracts were revealed to be L. johnsonii, in which LacTetH-DG is present at the concentration of 2.2 ng per 1 × 106 cells. To obtain more accurate estimates of intestinal lactobacilli in several regions of the digestive tract of mice, LacTetH-DG was detected by TLC-immunostaining with anti-Lactobacillus antisera, being found in the stomach, cecum and colon of normal breeding mice, 1.0 × 109, 3.5 × 109 and 7.4 × 109 cells, respectively. Administration of penicillin and streptomycin for 6 days resulted in a reduction in the number of intestinal lactobacilli, the levels being 0 %, 30 % and 4 % of the control ones in the stomach, cecum and colon, respectively, which was associated with the accumulation of the contents in the tracts from the stomach to the cecum and with diarrhea. In addition, a reduced amount of fucosyl GA1 (FGA1) and a compensatory increase in GA1 due to the reduced activity of α1,2-fucosyltransferase in the small intestine and the enhanced discharge of FGA1 into the contents occurred in mice, probably due to the altered population of bacteria caused by administration of penicillin and streptomycin.


Bacterial glycolipids TLC-immunostaining Asialo GM1 Fucosyl asialo GM1 Antibiotic-associated diarrhea Digestive contents 



Penicillin and streptomycin


Asialo GM1


Fucosyl GA1












Lactobacillus johnsonii


Lactobacillus intestinalis


Staphylococcus epidermidis


Lactobacillus dihexaosyl diglycerides


Lactobacillus trihexaosyl diglycerides


Lactobacillus tetrahexaosyl diglycerides.



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 24570141, 23592465 and 25462610.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masao Iwamori
    • 1
  • Yuriko Iwamori
    • 1
  • Shigeki Adachi
    • 2
  • Taisei Nomura
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science and TechnologyKinki UniversityHigashiosakaJapan
  2. 2.Animal Models of Human Diseases, National Institute of Biomedical InnovationIbarakiJapan

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