Impact of Microbiota on Resistance to Ocular Pseudomonas aeruginosa-Induced Keratitis.
ABSTRACT: The existence of the ocular microbiota has been reported but functional analyses to evaluate its significance in regulating ocular immunity are currently lacking. We compared the relative contribution of eye and gut commensals in regulating the ocular susceptibility to Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced keratitis. We find that in health, the presence of microbiota strengthened the ocular innate immune barrier by significantly increasing the concentrations of immune effectors in the tear film, including secretory IgA and complement proteins. Consistent with this view, Swiss Webster (SW) mice that are typically resistant to P. aeruginosa-induced keratitis become susceptible due to the lack of microbiota. This was exemplified by increased corneal bacterial burden and elevated pathology of the germ free (GF) mice when compared to the conventionally maintained SW mice. The protective immunity was found to be dependent on both eye and gut microbiota with the eye microbiota having a moderate, but significant impact on the resistance to infection. These events were IL-1ß-dependent as corneal IL-1ß levels were decreased in the infected GF and antibiotic-treated mice when compared to the SPF controls, and neutralization of IL-1ß increased the ocular bacterial burden in the SPF mice. Monocolonizing GF mice with Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus sp. isolated from the conjunctival swabs was sufficient to restore resistance to infection. Cumulatively, these data underline a previously unappreciated role for microbiota in regulating susceptibility to ocular keratitis. We predict that these results will have significant implications for contact lens wearers, where alterations in the ocular commensal communities may render the ocular surface vulnerable to infections.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to evaluate mechanisms controlling secretory IgA (SIgA) production, thereby ensuring maintenance of ocular surface health.To determine whether the presence of specific gut commensal species regulates SIgA levels and IgA transcripts in the eye-associated lymphoid tissues (EALT), specific-pathogen-free (SPF) Swiss Webster (SW) mice were treated with antibiotic cocktails, germ-free (GF) SW mice were reconstituted with diverse commensal gut microbiota, or monocolonized with gut-specific commensals. Proteomic profiling and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) were used to quantify SIgA and IgA levels. 16S rDNA sequencing was carried out to characterize commensal microbiota.Commensal presence regulated ocular surface SIgA levels and mRNA IgA transcripts in EALT. Oral antibiotic cocktail intake significantly reduced gut commensal presence, while maintaining ocular surface commensal levels reduced SIgA and IgA transcripts in EALT. Analysis of gut microbial communities revealed that SPF SW mice carried abundant Bacteroides organisms when compared to SPF C57BL6/N mice, with B. acidifaciens being the most prominent species in SPF SW mice. Monocolonization of GF SW mice with B. acidifaciens, a strict gut anaerobe, resulted in significant increase of IgA transcripts in the EALT, implying generation of B-cell memory.These data illustrated a "gut-eye" axis of immune regulation. Exposure of the host to gut commensal species may serve as a priming signal to generate B-cell repertoires at sites different from the gut, such as EALT, thereby ensuring broad protection.
Project description:The intestinal microbiota and its functions are intricately interwoven with host physiology. Colonizing rodents with donor microbiota provides insights into host-microbiota interactions characterization and the understanding of disease physiopathology. However, a better assessment of inoculation methods and recipient mouse models is needed. Here, we compare the engraftment at short and long term of genetically obese mice microbiota in germ-free (GF) mice and juvenile and adult specific pathogen free (SPF) mice. We also tested the effects of initial microbiota depletion before microbiota transfer. In the present work, donor microbiota engraftment was better in juvenile SPF mice than in adult SPF mice. In juvenile mice, initial microbiota depletion using laxatives or antibiotics improved donor microbiota engraftment 9 weeks but not 3 weeks after microbiota transfer. Microbiota-depleted juvenile mice performed better than GF mice 3 weeks after the microbiota transfer. However, 9 weeks after transfer, colonized GF mice microbiota had the lowest Unifrac distance to the donor microbiota. Colonized GF mice were also characterized by a chronic alteration in intestinal absorptive function. With these collective results, we show that the use of juvenile mice subjected to initial microbiota depletion constitutes a valid alternative to GF mice in microbiota transfer studies.
Project description:During the past decade, there has been a substantial rise in the knowledge about the effects of gut microbiota on host physiology and behavior, including depressive behavior. Initial studies determined that gut microbiota can regulate host tryptophan levels, which is a main serotonin precursor. A dysfunctional serotonergic system is considered to be one of the main factors contributing to the development of depression. Therefore, we hypothesized that regulation of brain tryptophan and serotonin can explain, at least partly, the effects of microbiota on depressive behavior. To test this hypothesis, we examined depressive-like behavior and brain levels of serotonin and tryptophan, of germ free (GF) and specific-pathogen free (SPF) mice under basal conditions, or after acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) procedure, which is a method to decrease tryptophan and serotonin levels in the brain. In basal conditions, GF mice exhibited less depressive-like behavior in sucrose preference, tail-suspension and forced swim tests, compared to SPF mice. In addition, in mice that were not subjected to ATD, GF mice displayed higher levels of tryptophan, serotonin and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (the main degradation product of serotonin) in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus (HIPPO), compared to SPF mice. Interestingly, ATD increased depressive-like behavior of GF, but not of SPF mice. These behavioral changes were accompanied by a stronger reduction of tryptophan, serotonin and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in mPFC and HIPPO in GF mice after ATD, when compared to SPF mice. Therefore, the serotonergic system of GF mice is more vulnerable to the acute challenge of tryptophan reduction, and GF mice after tryptophan reduction behave more similarly to SPF mice. These data provide functional evidence that microbiota affects depression-like behavior through influencing brain tryptophan accessibility and the serotonergic system.
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:Gender bias and the role of sex hormones in autoimmune diseases are well established. In specific-pathogen free (SPF) non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice females have 1.3-4.4 times higher incidence of Type 1 diabetes (T1D). Germ-free (GF) mice lose the gender bias (female/male ratio 1.1-1.2). Gut microbiota differed in males and females, a trend reversed by male castration, confirming that androgens influence gut microbiota. Colonization of GF NOD mice with defined microbiota revealed that some but not all lineages overrepresented in male mice supported a gender bias in T1D, and protection did not correlate with androgen levels. However, hormone-supported selective microbial lineage variation may work as a positive feedback mechanism contributing to the sexual dimorphism of autoimmune diseases. Gene expression analysis suggested pathways involved in protection of males from T1D by microbiota. We compared gene expression patterns in the pancreatic lymph nodes (PLNs) between four groups of mice (two genders in SPF and GF conditions, respectively). PLNs were isolated from 9-10 week old GF and SPF male and female NOD mice with 3 mice in each group, for a total of 12 samples.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:It is not clear how the complex interactions between diet and the intestinal microbiota affect development of mucosal inflammation or inflammatory bowel disease. We investigated interactions between dietary ingredients, nutrients, and the microbiota in specific pathogen-free (SPF) and germ-free (GF) mice given more than 40 unique diets; we quantified individual and synergistic effects of dietary macronutrients and the microbiota on intestinal health and development of colitis. METHODS:C56BL/6J SPF and GF mice were placed on custom diets containing different concentrations and sources of protein, fat, digestible carbohydrates, and indigestible carbohydrates (fiber). After 1 week, SPF and GF mice were given dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to induce colitis. Disease severity was determined based on the percent weight change from baseline, and modeled as a function of the concentration of each macronutrient in the diet. In unchallenged mice, we measured intestinal permeability by feeding mice labeled dextran and measuring levels in blood. Feces were collected and microbiota were analyzed by 16S rDNA sequencing. We collected colons from mice and performed transcriptome analyses. RESULTS:Fecal microbiota varied with diet; the concentration of protein and fiber had the strongest effect on colitis development. Among 9 fiber sources tested, psyllium, pectin, and cellulose fiber reduced the severity of colitis in SPF mice, whereas methylcellulose increased severity. Increasing dietary protein increased the density of the fecal microbiota and the severity of colitis in SPF mice, but not in GF mice or mice given antibiotics. Psyllium fiber reduced the severity of colitis through microbiota-dependent and microbiota-independent mechanisms. Combinatorial perturbations to dietary casein protein and psyllium fiber in parallel accounted for most variation in gut microbial density and intestinal permeability in unchallenged mice, as well as the severity of DSS-induced colitis; changes in 1 ingredient could be offset by changes in another. CONCLUSIONS:In an analysis of the effects of different dietary components and the gut microbiota on mice with and without DSS-induced colitis, we found complex mixtures of nutrients affect intestinal permeability, gut microbial density, and development of intestinal inflammation.
Project description:Current nutrition research is focusing on health promotion, disease prevention, and performance improvement for individuals and communities around the world. The humans with required nutritional ingredients depend on both how well the individual is provided with balanced foods and what state of gut microbiota the host has. Studying the mutually beneficial relationships between gut microbiome and host is an increasing attention in biomedical science. The purpose of this study is to understand the role of gut microbiota and to study interactions between gut microbiota and host. In this study, we used a shotgun proteomic approach to reveal the serum and liver proteomes in gut-microbiota-lacking mice. For serum, 15 and 8 proteins were uniquely detected in specific-pathogen-free (SPF) and germ-free (GF) mice, respectively, as well as the 3 and 20 proteins were significantly increased and decreased, respectively, in GF mice compared to SPF mice. Among the proteins of the serum, major urinary protein 1 (MUP-1) of GF mice was significantly decreased compared to SPF mice. In addition, MUP-1 expression is primarily regulated by testosterone. Lacking in gut flora has been implicated in many adverse effects, and now we have found its pathogenic root maybe gut bacteria can regulate the sex-hormone testosterone levels. In the liver, 8 and 22 proteins were uniquely detected in GF mice and SPF mice, respectively, as well as the 14 and 30 proteins were significantly increased and decreased, respectively, in GF mice compared to SPF mice. Furthermore, ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) indicated that gut microbiota influence the host in cancer, organismal injury and abnormalities, respiratory disease; cell cycle, cellular movement and tissue development; cardiovascular disease, reproductive system disease; and lipid metabolism, molecular transport and small molecule biochemistry. Our findings provide more detailed information of the role of gut microbiota and will be useful to help study gut bacteria and disease prevention.
Project description:Health is dependent on the homeostasis of both inner and external microenvironments. The microbiota as the external microenvironment plays a critical role in regulation of several organ systems in mammals. However, it is unclear whether the microbiota regulates homeostasis of the skeletal system and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs). Here, using a well-established germ-free (GF) mouse model, we show that the microbiota significantly alters the stemness of BMMSCs in comparison to specific-pathogen-free (SPF)-derived BMMSCs. Colonization of GF mice with SPF microbiota (conventionalized (ConvD)) normalizes the proliferation and differentiation abilities of BMMSCs. On the other hand, normal microbiota is required to maintain immunomodulatory properties of BMMSCs through induction of activated T-cell apoptosis and cytokine secretion. GF-derived BMMSCs lose the capacity to ameliorate disease phenotypes in dextran sulfate sodium-induced experimental colitis mice. Mechanistically, single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis shows that ConvD BMMSCs have a similar gene expression pattern to SPF-derived BMMSCs, which have a distinct gene distribution from GF-derived BMMSCs.
Project description:Commensal bacteria control the micro-ecology of metazoan epithelial surfaces with pivotal effect on tissue homeostasis and host defense. In contrast to the upper respiratory tract, the lower respiratory tract of healthy individuals has largely been considered free of microorganisms. To understand airway micro-ecology we studied microbiota of sterilely excised lungs from mice of different origin including outbred wild mice caught in the natural environment or kept under non-specific-pathogen-free (SPF) conditions as well as inbred mice maintained in non-SPF, SPF or germ-free (GF) facilities. High-throughput pyrosequencing of reverse transcribed 16S rRNA revealed metabolically active murine lung microbiota in all but GF mice. The overall composition across samples was similar at the phylum and family level. However, species richness was significantly different between lung microbiota from SPF and non-SPF mice. Non-cultivatable Betaproteobacteria such as Ralstonia spp. made up the major constituents and were also confirmed by 16S rRNA gene cloning analysis. Additionally, Pasteurellaceae, Enterobacteria and Firmicutes were isolated from lungs of non-SPF mice. Bacterial communities were detectable by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) at alveolar epithelia in the absence of inflammation. Notably, higher bacterial abundance in non-SPF mice correlated with more and smaller size alveolae, which was corroborated by transplanting Lactobacillus spp. lung isolates into GF mice. Our data indicate a common microbial composition of murine lungs, which is diversified through different environmental conditions and affects lung architecture. Identification of the microbiota of murine lungs will pave the path to study their influence on pulmonary immunity to infection and allergens using mouse models.
Project description:Keratitis, an inflammatory disease of the eye, when neglected could lead to sight-threatening complications and ultimately blindness. Globally, over a million people are affected by keratitis annually. Keratitis has a microbial etiology and is caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc. The present study compared the ocular surface fungal microbiome of healthy individuals and individuals with fungal keratitis. Fungal microbiomes from the conjunctival swabs of healthy individuals and from conjunctival swabs and corneal scrapings of individuals with fungal keratitis were generated using ITS2 region amplicons. Microbiomes were sequenced using Illumina MiSeq 2 × 250 base pair chemistry with a paired-end protocol. Based on Alpha diversity indices, phylum and genera level diversity, abundance differences, and heat map analysis, the fungal microbiomes of conjunctival swabs and corneal scrapings of individuals with fungal keratitis exhibited dysbiosis (alterations in the diversity and abundance) compared to the ocular surface microbiome of the healthy control individuals. This is the first report indicating dysbiosis in the fungal microbiome of conjunctival swabs and corneal scrapings in individuals with fungal keratitis. A total of 11 genera present in the majority of the eyes constituted the variable core ocular microbiome.