Interactions Between Diet and the Intestinal Microbiota Alter Intestinal Permeability and Colitis Severity in Mice.
ABSTRACT: 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:Background & Aims: The complex interactions between diet and the microbiota that influence mucosal inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease are poorly understood. Experimental colitis models provide the opportunity to control and systematically perturb diet and the microbiota in parallel to quantify the contributions between multiple dietary ingredients and the microbiota on host physiology and colitis. Methods: To examine the interplay of diet and the gut microbiota on host health and colitis, we fed over 40 different diets with varied macronutrient sources and concentrations to specific pathogen free or germ free mice either in the context of healthy, unchallenged animals or dextran sodium sulfate colitis model. Results: Diet influenced physiology in both health and colitis across all models, with the concentration of protein and psyllium fiber having the most profound effects. Increasing dietary protein elevated gut microbial density and worsened DSS colitis severity. Depleting gut microbial density by using germ-free animals or antibiotics negated the effect of a high protein diet. Psyllium fiber influenced host physiology and attenuated colitis severity through microbiota-dependent and microbiota-independent mechanisms. Combinatorial perturbations to dietary protein and psyllium fiber in parallel explain most variation in gut microbial density, intestinal permeability, and DSS colitis severity, and changes in one ingredient can be offset by changes in the other. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the importance of examining complex mixtures of nutrients to understand the role of diet in intestinal inflammation. Keywords: IBD; Diet; Microbiota; Mouse Models; Systems Biology Overall design: 18 samples were run with 3 mice from each diet. TD.09052/TD.09054 are controls of each other and should be compared and TD.130633 has a unique ingredient, psyllium, that can be compared to TD.09052/TD.09054. Animals with water only tests the effects of diets and Mice given DSS test the effects of diet and inflammation.
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: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: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: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:Microbiota have been shown to have a great influence on functions of intestinal epithelial cells (ECs). The role of indole as a quorum-sensing (QS) molecule mediating intercellular signals in bacteria has been well appreciated. However, it remains unknown whether indole has beneficial effects on maintaining intestinal barriers in vivo. In this study, we analyzed the effect of indole on ECs using a germ free (GF) mouse model. GF mice showed decreased expression of junctional complex molecules in colonic ECs. The feces of specific pathogen-free (SPF) mice contained a high amount of indole; however the amount was significantly decreased in the feces of GF mice by 27-fold. Oral administration of indole-containing capsules resulted in increased expression of both tight junction (TJ)- and adherens junction (AJ)-associated molecules in colonic ECs in GF mice. In accordance with the increased expression of these junctional complex molecules, GF mice given indole-containing capsules showed higher resistance to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis. A similar protective effect of indole on DSS-induced epithelial damage was also observed in mice bred in SPF conditions. These findings highlight the beneficial role of indole in establishing an epithelial barrier in vivo.
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:Eosinophils have emerged as multifaceted cells that contribute to tissue homeostasis. However, the impact of the microbiota on their frequency and function at mucosal sites remains unclear. Here, we investigated the role of the microbiota in the regulation of enteric eosinophils. We found that small intestinal (SI) eosinophilia was significantly greater in germ-free (GF) mice compared to specific pathogen free (SPF) controls. This was associated with changes in the production of enteric signals that regulate eosinophil attraction and survival, and was fully reversed by complex colonization. Additionally, SI eosinophils of GF mice exhibited more cytoplasmic protrusions and less granule content than SPF controls. Lastly, we generated a novel strain of eosinophil-deficient GF mice. These mice displayed intestinal fibrosis and were less prone to allergic sensitization as compared to GF controls. Overall, our study demonstrates that commensal microbes regulate intestinal eosinophil frequency and function, which impacts tissue repair and allergic sensitization to food antigens. These data support a critical interplay between the commensal microbiota and intestinal eosinophils in shaping homeostatic, innate, and adaptive immune processes in health and disease.
Project description:The effects of at least some probiotics are restricted to live, metabolically active bacteria at their site of action. Colonization of and persistence in the gastrointestinal tract is thus contributing to the beneficial effects of these strains. In the present study, colonization of an anti-inflammatory Bifidobacterium bifidum strain was studied in C57BL/6J mice under germ-free (GF) and specific pathogen-free (SPF) conditions as well as during dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis. B. bifidum S17/pMGC was unable to stably colonize C57BL/6J mice under SPF conditions. Mono-association of GF mice by three doses on consecutive days led to long-term, stable detection of up to 109 colony forming units (CFU) of B. bifidum S17/pMGC per g feces. This stable population was rapidly outcompeted upon transfer of mono-associated animals to SPF conditions. A B. animalis strain was isolated from the microbiota of these re-conventionalized mice. This B. animalis strain displayed significantly higher adhesion to murine CMT-93 intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) than to human Caco-2 IECs (p = 0.018). Conversely, B. bifidum S17/pMGC, i.e., a strain of human origin, adhered at significantly higher levels to human compared to murine IECs (p < 0.001). Disturbance of the gut ecology and induction of colitis by DSS-treatment did not promote colonization of the murine gastrointestinal tract (GIT) by B. bifidum S17/pMGC. Despite its poor colonization of the mouse GIT, B. bifidum S17/pMGC displayed a protective effect on DSS-induced colitis when administered as viable bacteria but not as UV-inactivated preparation. Collectively, these results suggest a selective disadvantage of B. bifidum S17/pMGC in the competition with the normal murine microbiota and an anti-inflammatory effect that requires live, metabolically active bacteria.