Dysbiotic gut microbiota causes transmissible Crohn's disease-like ileitis independent of failure in antimicrobial defence.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:Dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota is associated with Crohn's disease (CD). Functional evidence for a causal role of bacteria in the development of chronic small intestinal inflammation is lacking. Similar to human pathology, TNF(deltaARE) mice develop a tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-driven CD-like transmural inflammation with predominant ileal involvement. DESIGN:Heterozygous TNF(deltaARE) mice and wildtype (WT) littermates were housed under conventional (CONV), specific pathogen-free (SPF) and germ-free (GF) conditions. Microbial communities were analysed by high-throughput 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. Metaproteomes were measured using LC-MS. Temporal and spatial resolution of disease development was followed after antibiotic treatment and transfer of microbial communities into GF mice. Granulocyte infiltration and Paneth cell function was assessed by immunofluorescence and gene expression analysis. RESULTS:GF-TNF(deltaARE) mice were free of inflammation in the gut and antibiotic treatment of CONV-TNF(deltaARE) mice attenuated ileitis but not colitis, demonstrating that disease severity and location are microbiota-dependent. SPF-TNF(deltaARE) mice developed distinct ileitis-phenotypes associated with gradual loss of antimicrobial defence. 16S analysis and metaproteomics revealed specific compositional and functional alterations of bacterial communities in inflamed mice. Transplantation of disease-associated but not healthy microbiota transmitted CD-like ileitis to GF-TNF(deltaARE) recipients and triggered loss of lysozyme and cryptdin-2 expression. Monoassociation of GF-TNF(deltaARE) mice with the human CD-related Escherichia coli LF82 did not induce ileitis. CONCLUSIONS:We provide clear experimental evidence for the causal role of gut bacterial dysbiosis in the development of chronic ileal inflammation with subsequent failure of Paneth cell function.
Project description:Atherosclerotic plaque development depends on chronic inflammation of the arterial wall. A dysbiotic gut microbiota can cause low-grade inflammation, and microbiota composition was linked to cardiovascular disease risk. However, the role of this environmental factor in atherothrombosis remains undefined. To analyze the impact of gut microbiota on atherothrombosis, we rederived low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (Ldlr-/- ) mice as germfree (GF) and kept these mice for 16?weeks on an atherogenic high-fat Western diet (HFD) under GF isolator conditions and under conventionally raised specific-pathogen-free conditions (CONV-R). In spite of reduced diversity of the cecal gut microbiome, caused by atherogenic HFD, GF Ldlr-/- mice and CONV-R Ldlr-/- mice exhibited atherosclerotic lesions of comparable sizes in the common carotid artery. In contrast to HFD-fed mice, showing no difference in total cholesterol levels, CONV-R Ldlr-/- mice fed control diet (CD) had significantly reduced total plasma cholesterol, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and LDL levels compared with GF Ldlr-/- mice. Myeloid cell counts in blood as well as leukocyte adhesion to the vessel wall at the common carotid artery of GF Ldlr-/- mice on HFD were diminished compared to CONV-R Ldlr-/- controls. Plasma cytokine profiling revealed reduced levels of the proinflammatory chemokines CCL7 and CXCL1 in GF Ldlr-/- mice, whereas the T-cell-related interleukin 9 (IL-9) and IL-27 were elevated. In the atherothrombosis model of ultrasound-induced rupture of the common carotid artery plaque, thrombus area was significantly reduced in GF Ldlr-/- mice relative to CONV-R Ldlr-/- mice. Ex vivo, this atherothrombotic phenotype was explained by decreased adhesion-dependent platelet activation and thrombus growth of HFD-fed GF Ldlr-/- mice on type III collagen.IMPORTANCE Our results demonstrate a functional role for the commensal microbiota in atherothrombosis. In a ferric chloride injury model of the carotid artery, GF C57BL/6J mice had increased occlusion times compared to colonized controls. Interestingly, in late atherosclerosis, HFD-fed GF Ldlr-/- mice had reduced plaque rupture-induced thrombus growth in the carotid artery and diminished ex vivo thrombus formation under arterial flow conditions.
Project description:Deregulation of host-microbiota interactions in the gut is a pivotal characteristic of Crohn's disease. It remains unclear, however, whether commensals and/or the dysbiotic microbiota associated with pathology in humans are causally involved in Crohn's pathogenesis. Here, we show that Crohn's-like ileitis in Tnf(?ARE/+) mice is microbiota-dependent. Germ-free Tnf(?ARE/+) mice are disease-free and the microbiota and its innate recognition through Myd88 are indispensable for tumor necrosis factor (TNF) overexpression and disease initiation in this model. The epithelium of diseased mice shows no major defects in mucus barrier and paracellular permeability. However, Tnf(?ARE/+) ileitis associates with the reduction of lysozyme-expressing Paneth cells, mediated by adaptive immune effectors. Furthermore, we show that established but not early ileitis in Tnf(?ARE/+) mice involves defective expression of antimicrobials and dysbiosis, characterized by Firmicutes expansion, including epithelial-attaching segmented filamentous bacteria, and decreased abundance of Bacteroidetes. Microbiota modulation by antibiotic treatment at an early disease stage rescues ileitis. Our results suggest that the indigenous microbiota is sufficient to drive TNF overexpression and Crohn's ileitis in the genetically susceptible Tnf(?ARE/+) hosts, whereas dysbiosis in this model results from disease-associated alterations including loss of lysozyme-expressing Paneth cells.
Project description:ATG16L1T300A, a major risk polymorphism in Crohn's disease (CD), causes impaired autophagy, but it has remained unclear how this predisposes to CD. In this study, we report that mice with Atg16l1 deletion in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) spontaneously develop transmural ileitis phenocopying ileal CD in an age-dependent manner, driven by the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress sensor IRE1?. IRE1? accumulates in Paneth cells of Atg16l1?IEC mice, and humans homozygous for ATG16L1T300A exhibit a corresponding increase of IRE1? in intestinal epithelial crypts. In contrast to a protective role of the IRE1? isoform, hyperactivated IRE1? also drives a similar ileitis developing earlier in life in Atg16l1;Xbp1?IEC mice, in which ER stress is induced by deletion of the unfolded protein response transcription factor XBP1. The selective autophagy receptor optineurin interacts with IRE1?, and optineurin deficiency amplifies IRE1? levels during ER stress. Furthermore, although dysbiosis of the ileal microbiota is present in Atg16l1;Xbp1?IEC mice as predicted from impaired Paneth cell antimicrobial function, such structural alteration of the microbiota does not trigger ileitis but, rather, aggravates dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis. Hence, we conclude that defective autophagy in IECs may predispose to CD ileitis via impaired clearance of IRE1? aggregates during ER stress at this site.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The microbiome has a functional role in a number of inflammatory processes and disease states. While neointimal hyperplasia development has been linked to inflammation, a direct role of the microbiota in neointimal hyperplasia has not yet been established. Germ-free (GF) mice are an invaluable model for studying causative links between commensal organisms and the host. We hypothesized that GF mice would exhibit altered neointimal hyperplasia following carotid ligation compared to conventionally raised (CONV-R) mice. METHODS:Twenty-week-old male C57BL/6 GF mice underwent left carotid ligation under sterile conditions. Maintenance of sterility was assessed by cultivation and 16S rRNA qPCR of stool. Neointimal hyperplasia was assessed by morphometric and histologic analysis of arterial sections after 28 days. Local arterial cell proliferation and inflammation was assessed by immunofluorescence for Ki67 and inflammatory cell markers at five days. Systemic inflammation was assessed by multiplex immunoassays of serum. CONV-R mice treated in the same manner served as the control cohort. GF and CONV-R mice were compared using standard statistical methods. RESULTS:All GF mice remained sterile during the entire study period. Twenty-eight days after carotid ligation, CONV-R mice had significantly more neointimal hyperplasia development compared to GF mice, as assessed by intima area, media area, intima+media area, and intima area/(intima+media) area. The collagen content of the neointimal lesions appeared qualitatively similar on Masson's trichrome staining. There was significantly reduced Ki67 immunoreactivity in the media and adventitia of GF carotid arteries 5 days after ligation. GF mice also had increased arterial infiltration of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages compared to CONV-R mouse arteries and a reduced proportion of mature neutrophils. GF mice had significantly reduced serum IFN-?-inducible protein (IP)-10 and MIP-2 5 days after carotid ligation, suggesting a reduced systemic inflammatory response. CONCLUSIONS:GF mice have attenuated neointimal hyperplasia development compared to CONV-R mice, which is likely related to altered kinetics of wound healing and acute inflammation. Recognizing the role of commensals in the regulation of arterial remodeling will provide a deeper understanding of the pathophysiology of restenosis and support strategies to treat or reduce restenosis risk by manipulating microbiota.
Project description:Inflammation is a critical player in the development of both colitis-associated and sporadic colon cancers. Several studies suggest that the microbiota contribute to inflammation and tumorigenesis; however, studies to understand the role of the microbiota in colon tumor development in germ-free (GF) mice are limited. We therefore studied the effects of the microbiota on the development of inflammation and tumors in GF and conventionally raised specific pathogen-free (SPF) mice treated with azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). We discovered that GF mice developed significantly more and larger tumors compared with that in SPF mice after AOM and DSS treatment despite the lack of early acute inflammation in response to chemically induced injury by DSS. Although the extent of intestinal epithelial damage and apoptosis was not significantly different in GF and SPF mice, there was a delay in intestinal epithelial repair to DSS-induced injury in GF mice resulting in a late onset of proinflammatory and protumorigenic responses and increased epithelial proliferation and microadenoma formation. Recolonization of GF mice with commensal bacteria or administration of lipopolysaccharide reduced tumorigenesis. Thus, although commensal bacteria are capable of driving chronic inflammation and tumorigenesis, the gut microbiota also have important roles in limiting chemically induced injury and proliferative responses that lead to tumor development.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor-like cytokine 1A (TL1A, TNFSF15) is implicated in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), modulating the location and severity of intestinal inflammation and fibrosis. TL1A expression is increased in inflamed gut mucosa and associated with fibrostenosing Crohn's disease. Tl1a-overexpression in mice lead to spontaneous ileitis, and exacerbated induced proximal colitis and fibrosis. IBD is associated with shifts in the gut microbiome, but the effect of differing microbial populations and their interaction with TL1A on fibrosis has not been investigated. We demonstrate that the pro-fibrotic and inflammatory phenotype resulting from Tl1a-overexpression is abrogated in the absence of resident microbiota. To evaluate if this is due to the absence of a unique bacterial population, as opposed to any bacteria per se, we gavaged germ-free (GF) wild-type and Tl1a-transgenic (Tl1a-Tg) mice with stool from specific pathogen free (SPF) mice and a healthy human donor (Hu). Reconstitution with SPF, but not Hu microbiota, resulted in increased intestinal collagen deposition and fibroblast activation in Tl1a-Tg mice. Notably, there was reduced fibroblast migration and activation under GF conditions compared to native conditions. We then identified several candidate organisms that correlated directly with increased fibrosis in reconstituted mice and showed that these organisms directly impact fibroblast function in vitro. Thus, Tl1a-mediated intestinal fibrosis and fibroblast activation are dependent on specific microbial populations.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:A strong association between human inflammatory biliary diseases and gut inflammation has led to the hypothesis that gut microbes and lymphocytes activated in the intestine play a role in biliary inflammation. The NOD.c3c4 mouse model develops spontaneous biliary inflammation in extra- and intrahepatic bile ducts. We aimed to clarify the role of the gut microbiota in the biliary disease of NOD.c3c4 mice. METHODS:We sampled cecal content and mucosa from conventionally raised (CONV-R) NOD.c3c4 and NOD control mice, extracted DNA and performed 16S rRNA sequencing. NOD.c3c4 mice were rederived into a germ free (GF) facility and compared with CONV-R NOD.c3c4 mice. NOD.c3c4 mice were also co-housed with NOD mice and received antibiotics from weaning. RESULTS:The gut microbial profiles of mice with and without biliary disease were different both before and after rederivation (unweighted UniFrac-distance). GF NOD.c3c4 mice had less distended extra-hepatic bile ducts than CONV-R NOD.c3c4 mice, while antibiotic treated mice showed reduction of biliary infarcts. GF animals also showed a reduction in liver weight compared with CONV-R NOD.c3c4 mice, and this was also observed in antibiotic treated NOD.c3c4 mice. Co-housing of NOD and NOD.c3c4 mice indicated that the biliary phenotype was neither transmissible nor treatable by co-housing with healthy mice. CONCLUSIONS:NOD.c3c4 and NOD control mice show marked differences in the gut microbiota. GF NOD.c3c4 mice develop a milder biliary affection compared with conventionally raised NOD.c3c4 mice. Our findings suggest that the intestinal microbiota contributes to disease in this murine model of biliary inflammation. LAY SUMMARY:Mice with liver disease have a gut microflora (microbiota) that differs substantially from normal mice. In a normal environment, these mice spontaneously develop disease in their bile ducts. However, when these mice, are raised in an environment devoid of bacteria, the disease in the bile ducts diminishes. Overall this clearly indicates that the bacteria in the gut (the gut microbiota) influences the liver disease in these mice.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:As the importance of gut-brain interactions increases, understanding how specific gut microbes interact with the enteric nervous system (ENS), which is the first point of neuronal exposure becomes critical. Our aim was to understand how the dominant human gut bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (Bt) regulates anatomical and functional characteristics of the ENS. METHODS:Neuronal cell populations, as well as enteroendocrine cells, were assessed in proximal colonic sections using fluorescent immunohistochemistry in specific pathogen-free (SPF), germ-free (GF) and Bt conventionalized-germ-free mice (Bt-CONV). RNA expression of tight junction proteins and toll-like receptors (TLR) were measured using qPCR. Colonic motility was analyzed using in vitro colonic manometry. RESULTS:Decreased neuronal and vagal afferent innervation observed in GF mice was normalized by Bt-CONV with increased neuronal staining in mucosa and myenteric plexus. Bt-CONV also restored expression of nitric oxide synthase expressing inhibitory neurons and of choline acetyltransferase and substance P expressing excitatory motor neurons comparable to those of SPF mice. Neurite outgrowth and glial cells were upregulated by Bt-CONV. RNA expression of tight junction protein claudin 3 was downregulated while TLR2 was upregulated by Bt-CONV. The enteroendocrine cell subtypes L-cells and enterochromaffin cells were reduced in GF mice, with Bt-CONV restoring L-cell numbers. Motility as measured by colonic migrating motor complexes (CMMCs) increased in GF and Bt-CONV. CONCLUSION:Bt, common gut bacteria, is critical in regulating enteric neuronal and enteroendocrine cell populations, and neurogenic colonic activity. This highlights the potential use of this resident gut bacteria for maintaining healthy gut function.
Project description:The prototypic protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), encoded by the <i>P4HB</i> gene, has been described as a survival factor in ischemic cardiomyopathy. However, the role of protein disulfide isomerase associated 6 (PDIA6) under hypoxic conditions in the myocardium remains enigmatic, and it is unknown whether the gut microbiota influences the expression of PDI and PDIA6 under conditions of acute myocardial infarction. Here, we revealed that, in addition to the prototypic PDI, the PDI family member PDIA6, a regulator of the unfolded protein response, is upregulated in the mouse cardiomyocyte cell line HL-1 when cultured under hypoxia. <i>In vivo</i>, in the left anterior descending artery (LAD) ligation mouse model of acute myocardial infarction, similar to PDI, PDIA6 protein expression was enhanced in the infarcted area (LAD+) relative to uninfarcted sham tissue or the neighbouring area at risk (LAD-) of C57BL/6J mice. Interestingly, we found that ex-germ-free (ex-GF) mice subjected to the LAD ligation model for 24?h had a reduced ejection fraction compared with their conventionally raised (CONV-R) SPF controls. Furthermore, the LAD+ area in the infarcted heart of ex-GF mice showed reduced PDIA6 expression relative to CONV-R controls, suggesting that the presence of a gut microbiota enhanced LAD ligation-triggered PDIA6 expression. Collectively, our results demonstrate that PDIA6 is upregulated in cardiomyocytes as a consequence of hypoxia. In the LAD mouse model, PDIA6 was also increased in the infarcted area under <i>in vivo</i> conditions, but this increase was suppressed in ex-GF mice relative to CONV-R controls.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.