Gut Microbiota-Produced Tryptamine Activates an Epithelial G-Protein-Coupled Receptor to Increase Colonic Secretion.
ABSTRACT: Tryptamine, a tryptophan-derived monoamine similar to 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), is produced by gut bacteria and is abundant in human and rodent feces. However, the physiologic effect of tryptamine in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract remains unknown. Here, we show that the biological effects of tryptamine are mediated through the 5-HT4 receptor (5-HT4R), a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) uniquely expressed in the colonic epithelium. Tryptamine increases both ionic flux across the colonic epithelium and fluid secretion in colonoids from germ-free (GF) and humanized (ex-GF colonized with human stool) mice, consistent with increased intestinal secretion. The secretory effect of tryptamine is dependent on 5-HT4R activation and is blocked by 5-HT4R antagonist and absent in 5-HT4R-/- mice. GF mice colonized by Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron engineered to produce tryptamine exhibit accelerated GI transit. Our study demonstrates an aspect of host physiology under control of a bacterial metabolite that can be exploited as a therapeutic modality. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Project description:Gut microbiota alterations have been described in several diseases with altered gastrointestinal (GI) motility, and awareness is increasing regarding the role of the gut microbiome in modulating GI function. Serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] is a key regulator of GI motility and secretion. To determine the relationship among gut microbes, colonic contractility, and host serotonergic gene expression, we evaluated mice that were germ-free (GF) or humanized (HM; ex-GF colonized with human gut microbiota). 5-HT reduced contractile duration in both GF and HM colons. Microbiota from HM and conventionally raised (CR) mice significantly increased colonic mRNAs Tph1 [(tryptophan hydroxylase) 1, rate limiting for mucosal 5-HT synthesis; P < 0.01] and chromogranin A (neuroendocrine secretion; P < 0.01), with no effect on monoamine oxidase A (serotonin catabolism), serotonin receptor 5-HT4, or mouse serotonin transporter. HM and CR mice also had increased colonic Tph1 protein (P < 0.05) and 5-HT concentrations (GF, 17 ± 3 ng/mg; HM, 25 ± 2 ng/mg; and CR, 35 ± 3 ng/mg; P < 0.05). Enterochromaffin (EC) cell numbers (cells producing 5-HT) were unchanged. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) promoted TPH1 transcription in BON cells (human EC cell model). Thus, gut microbiota acting through SCFAs are important determinants of enteric 5-HT production and homeostasis.
Project description:Diet has major effects on the intestinal microbiota, but the exact mechanisms that alter complex microbial communities have been difficult to elucidate. In addition to the direct influence that diet exerts on microbes, changes in microbiota composition and function can alter host functions such as gastrointestinal (GI) transit time, which in turn can further affect the microbiota.We investigated the relationships among diet, GI motility, and the intestinal microbiota using mice that are germ-free (GF) or humanized (ex-GF mice colonized with human fecal microbiota).Analysis of gut motility revealed that humanized mice fed a standard polysaccharide-rich diet had faster GI transit and increased colonic contractility compared with GF mice. Humanized mice with faster transit due to administration of polyethylene glycol or a nonfermentable cellulose-based diet had similar changes in gut microbiota composition, indicating that diet can modify GI transit, which then affects the composition of the microbial community. However, altered transit in mice fed a diet of fermentable fructooligosaccharide indicates that diet can change gut microbial function, which can affect GI transit.Based on studies in humanized mice, diet can affect GI transit through microbiota-dependent or microbiota-independent pathways, depending on the type of dietary change. The effect of the microbiota on transit largely depends on the amount and type (fermentable vs nonfermentable) of polysaccharides present in the diet. These results have implications for disorders that affect GI transit and gut microbial communities, including irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
Project description:The 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 4 (5-HT4R or HTR4) is expressed in the colonic epithelium but little is known about its functions there. We examined whether activation of colonic epithelial 5-HT4R protects colons of mice from inflammation.The 5-HT4R agonist tegaserod (1 mg/kg), the 5-HT4R antagonist GR113808 (1 mg/kg), or vehicle (control) were delivered by enema to wild-type or 5-HT4R knockout mice at the onset of, or during, active colitis, induced by administration of dextran sodium sulfate or trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid. Inflammation was measured using the colitis disease activity index and by histologic analysis of intestinal tissues. Epithelial proliferation, wound healing, and resistance to oxidative stress-induced apoptosis were assessed, as was colonic motility.Rectal administration of tegaserod reduced the severity of colitis compared with mice given vehicle, and accelerated recovery from active colitis. Rectal tegaserod did not improve colitis in 5-HT4R knockout mice, and intraperitoneally administered tegaserod did not protect wild-type mice from colitis. Tegaserod increased proliferation of crypt epithelial cells. Stimulation of 5-HT4R increased Caco-2 cell migration and reduced oxidative stress-induced apoptosis; these actions were blocked by co-administration of the 5-HT4R antagonist GR113808. In noninflamed colons of wild-type mice not receiving tegaserod, inhibition of 5-HT4Rs resulted in signs of colitis within 3 days. In these mice, epithelial proliferation decreased and bacterial translocation to the liver and spleen was detected. Daily administration of tegaserod increased motility in inflamed colons of guinea pigs and mice, whereas administration of GR113808 disrupted motility in animals without colitis.5-HT4R activation maintains motility in healthy colons of mice and guinea pigs, and reduces inflammation in colons of mice with colitis. Agonists might be developed as treatments for patients with inflammatory bowel diseases.
Project description:Ozone, a pervasive environmental pollutant, adversely affects functional lung growth in children. Animal studies demonstrate that altered lung development is associated with modified signaling within the airway epithelial mesenchymal trophic unit, including mediators that can change nerve growth. We hypothesized that ozone exposure alters the normal pattern of serotonin, its transporter (5-HTT), and two key receptors (5-HT2A and 5-HT4), a pathway involved in postnatal airway neural, epithelial, and immune processes. We exposed monkeys to acute or episodic ozone during the first 2 or 6 months of life. There were three exposure groups/age: (1) filtered air, (2) acute ozone challenge, and (3) episodic ozone + acute ozone challenge. Lungs were prepared for compartment-specific qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and stereology. Airway epithelial serotonin immunopositive staining increased in all exposure groups with the most prominent in 2-month midlevel and 6-month distal airways. Gene expression of 5-HTT, 5-HT2AR, and 5-HT4R increased in an age-dependent manner. Overall expression was greater in distal compared with midlevel airways. Ozone exposure disrupted both 5-HT2AR and 5-HT4R protein expression in airways and enhanced immunopositive staining for 5-HT2AR (2 months) and 5-HT4R (6 months) on smooth muscle. Ozone exposure increases serotonin in airway epithelium regardless of airway level, age, and exposure history and changes the spatial pattern of serotonin receptor protein (5-HT2A and 5-HT4) and 5-HTT gene expression depending on compartment, age, and exposure history. Understanding how serotonin modulates components of reversible airway obstruction exacerbated by ozone exposure sets the foundation for developing clinically relevant therapies for airway disease.
Project description:EAEC is a common cause of diarrheal illness worldwide. Pathogenesis is believed to occur in the ileum and colon, where the bacteria adhere and form a robust aggregating biofilm. Among the multiple virulence factors produced by EAEC, the Pic serine protease has been implicated in bacterial colonization by virtue of its mucinolytic activity. Hence, a potential role of Pic in mucus barrier disruption during EAEC infection has been long postulated. In this study, we used human colonoids comprising goblet cells and a thick mucin barrier as an intestinal model to investigate Pic's roles during infection with EAEC. We demonstrated the ability of purified Pic, but not a protease defective Pic mutant to degrade MUC2. Western blot and confocal microscopy analysis revealed degradation of the MUC2 layer in colonoids infected with EAEC, but not with its isogenic EAECpic mutant. Wild-type and MUC2-knockdown colonoids infected with EAEC strains exposed a differential biofilm distribution, greater penetration of the mucus layer and increased colonization of the colonic epithelium by Wild-type EAEC than its isogenic Pic mutant. Higher secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines was seen in colonoids infected with EAEC than EAECpic. Although commensal E. coli expressing Pic degraded MUC2, it did not show improved mucus layer penetration or colonization of the colonic epithelium. Our study demonstrates a role of Pic in MUC2 barrier disruption in the human intestine and shows that colonoids are a reliable system to study the interaction of pathogens with the mucus layer.
Project description:Crypts are the basic structural and functional units of colonic epithelium and can be isolated from the colon and cultured in vitro into multi-cell spheroids termed "colonoids". Both crypts and colonoids are ideal building blocks for construction of an in vitro tissue model of the colon. Here we proposed and tested a microengineered platform for capture and in vitro 3D culture of colonic crypts and colonoids. An integrated platform was fabricated from polydimethylsiloxane which contained two fluidic layers separated by an array of cylindrical microwells (150 ?m diameter, 150 ?m depth) with perforated bottoms (30 ?m opening, 10 ?m depth) termed "microstrainers". As fluid moved through the array, crypts or colonoids were retained in the microstrainers with a >90% array-filling efficiency. Matrigel as an extracellular matrix was then applied to the microstrainers to generate isolated Matrigel pockets encapsulating the crypts or colonoids. After supplying the essential growth factors, epidermal growth factor, Wnt-3A, R-spondin 2 and noggin, 63 ± 13% of the crypts and 77 ± 8% of the colonoids cultured in the microstrainers over a 48-72 h period formed viable 3D colonoids. Thus colonoid growth on the array was similar to that under standard culture conditions (78 ± 5%). Additionally the colonoids displayed the same morphology and similar numbers of stem and progenitor cells as those under standard culture conditions. Immunofluorescence staining confirmed that the differentiated cell-types of the colon, goblet cells, enteroendocrine cells and absorptive enterocytes, formed on the array. To demonstrating the utility of the array in tracking the colonoid fate, quantitative fluorescence analysis was performed on the arrayed colonoids exposed to reagents such as Wnt-3A and the ?-secretase inhibitor LY-411575. The successful formation of viable, multi-cell type colonic tissue on the microengineered platform represents a first step in the building of a "colon-on-a-chip" with the goal of producing the physiologic structure and organ-level function of the colon for controlled experiments.
Project description:New advances enable long-term organotypic culture of colonic epithelial stem cells that develop into structures known as colonoids. Colonoids represent a primary tissue source acting as a potential starting material for development of an in vitro model of the colon. Key features of colonic crypt isolation and subsequent colonoid culture have not been systematically optimized compromising efficiency and reproducibility. Here murine crypt isolation yield and quality are optimized, and colonoid culture efficiency measured in microfabricated culture devices.An optimal incubation time of 60 min in a chelating buffer released 280,000?±?28,000 crypts from the stroma of a single colon with 79.3% remaining intact. Mechanical agitation using an average acceleration of 1.5?×?g liberated the highest quality crypts with 86% possessing well-defined lumens. Culture in 50% Matrigel resulted in the highest colonoid formation efficiency of 33?±?5%. Immunostaining demonstrated that colonoids isolated under these conditions possessed stem/progenitor cells and differentiated cell lineages. Microfabrication substrates (glass, polystyrene, PDMS, and epoxy photoresists: SU-8 and 1002-F) were tested for compatibility with colonoid culture. PDMS promoted formation of 3-D colonoids containing stem/progenitor cells, while other substrates promoted outgrowth of a 2-D epithelial monolayer composed of differentiated cells.Improved crypt isolation and 3-D colonoid culture, along with an understanding of colonic epithelial cell behavior in the presence of microfabrication substrates will support development of 'organ-on-a-chip' approaches for studies using primary colonic epithelium.
Project description:Low-molecular-weight metabolites produced by the intestinal microbiome play a direct role in health and disease. However, little is known about the ability of the colon to absorb these metabolites. It is also unclear whether these metabolites are bioavailable. Here, metabolomics techniques (capillary electrophoresis with time-of-flight mass spectrometry, CE-TOFMS), germ-free (GF) mice, and colonized (Ex-GF) mice were used to identify the colonic luminal metabolites transported to colonic tissue and/or blood. We focused on the differences in each metabolite between GF and Ex-GF mice to determine the identities of metabolites that are transported to the colon and/or blood. CE-TOFMS identified 170, 246, 166, and 193 metabolites in the colonic feces, colonic tissue, portal plasma, and cardiac plasma, respectively. We classified the metabolites according to the following influencing factors: (i) the membrane transport system of the colonocytes, (ii) metabolism during transcellular transport, and (iii) hepatic metabolism based on the similarity in the ratio of each metabolite between GF and Ex-GF mice and found 62 and 22 metabolites that appeared to be absorbed from the colonic lumen to colonocytes and blood, respectively. For example, 11 basic amino acids were transported to the systemic circulation from the colonic lumen. Furthermore, many low-molecular-weight metabolites influenced by the intestinal microbiome are bioavailable. The present study is the first to report the transportation of metabolites from the colonic lumen to colonocytes and somatic blood in vivo, and the present findings are critical for clarifying host-intestinal bacterial interactions.
Project description:The intestinal epithelium is the first line of defense against enteric pathogens. We investigated the response of small intestinal and colonic crypt cultures to a panel of toll-like receptor ligands to assess the impact of microbial pattern recognition on epithelial growth.Primary murine jejunal enteroids and colonoids were cultured with lipopeptide Pam3CSK4, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (Poly I:C) for 4 to 6 days. Surface area, budding and survival were assessed. Proliferation and numbers of lysozyme positive cells were quantified by flow cytometry. Gene expression was assessed by Nanostring and qRT-PCR.Exposure to Pam3CSK4 and LPS had minimal impact on either enteroids or colonoids. In contrast, Poly I:C increased the surface area of enteroids, while colonoids demonstrated decreased budding. Survival was decreased by Poly I:C in enteroids but not in colonoids. Both enteroids and colonoids exhibited upregulated gene expression of chemokines, but these were increased in magnitude in enteroids. Decreases in gene expression associated with epithelial differentiation and lysozyme positive cells were more apparent in enteroids than in colonoids. Baseline gene expression between enteroids and colonoids differed markedly in levels of stem cell and inflammatory markers. The changes in morphology induced by Poly I:C were mediated by the toll-like receptor adaptor molecule 1 (Ticam1) in enteroids but not in colonoids.Poly I:C alters the molecular program of epithelial cells and shifts from absorption and digestion towards defense and inflammation. Diversity of responses to microbial patterns in enteroids and colonoids may underlie differences in susceptibility to infection along the intestinal tract.
Project description:CONTEXT:In the human adrenal, serotonin (5-HT), released by mast cells stimulates corticosteroid secretion through activation of type 4 serotonin receptors (5-HT4R). In primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease cells, activation of the cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway by PRKAR1A mutations triggers upregulation of the 5-HT synthesizing enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) and the 5-HT4, 5-HT6, and 5-HT7 receptors. Because ACTH stimulates cortisol secretion through activation of PKA, adrenocortical tissues exposed to sustained stimulation by ACTH may harbor increased expression of TPH and 5-HT4/6/7 receptors. OBJECTIVE:To investigate the effects of long-term ACTH stimulation on the serotonergic pathway in adrenals of patients with high plasma or intra-adrenal ACTH levels. METHODS:Adrenal tissues were obtained from patients with Cushing disease, ectopic secretion of ACTH [paraneoplastic Cushing syndrome; (paraCS)], 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21-OHD), primary bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia with intra-adrenal ACTH presence, or cortisol-producing adenomas. TPH and 5-HT4/6/7 receptor expression was investigated using RT-PCR and immunochemistry in comparison with normal adrenals. Primary cultured adrenocortical cells originating from a patient with paraCS were incubated with 5-HT and 5-HTR agonists/antagonists. RESULTS:TPH and/or 5-HT4/6/7 receptors were overexpressed in the different types of tissues. In paraCS cultured cells, the cortisol response to 5-HT was exaggerated compared with normal adrenal cells and the stimulatory action of 5-HT was reduced by 5-HT4R antagonist. CONCLUSION:Our results indicate that prolonged activation of the cAMP/PKA pathway by ACTH induces an aberrant serotonergic stimulatory loop in the adrenal cortex that likely participates in the pathogenesis of corticosteroid hypersecretion.