Erythroid differentiation regulator-1 induced by microbiota in early life drives intestinal stem cell proliferation and regeneration.
ABSTRACT: Gut microbiota and their metabolites are instrumental in regulating intestinal homeostasis. However, early-life microbiota associated influences on intestinal development remain incompletely understood. Here we demonstrate that co-housing of germ-free (GF) mice with specific-pathogen free (SPF) mice at weaning (exGF) results in altered intestinal gene expression. Our results reveal that one highly differentially expressed gene, erythroid differentiation regulator-1 (Erdr1), is induced during development in SPF but not GF or exGF mice and localizes to Lgr5+ stem cells and transit amplifying (TA) cells. Erdr1 functions to induce Wnt signaling in epithelial cells, increase Lgr5+ stem cell expansion, and promote intestinal organoid growth. Additionally, Erdr1 accelerates scratch-wound closure in vitro, increases Lgr5+ intestinal stem cell regeneration following radiation-induced injury in vivo, and enhances recovery from dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colonic damage. Collectively, our findings indicate that early-life microbiota controls Erdr1-mediated intestinal epithelial proliferation and regeneration in response to mucosal damage.
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: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: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: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: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:We have previously observed that knockout of Niemann-Pick C1-Like 1 (NPC1L1), a cholesterol transporter essential for intestinal cholesterol absorption, reduces the output of dry stool in mice. As the food intake remains unaltered in NPC1L1-knockout (L1-KO) mice, we hypothesized that NPC1L1 deficiency may alter the gut microbiome to reduce stool output. Consistently, here we demonstrate that the phyla of fecal microbiota differ substantially between L1-KO mice and their wild-type controls. Germ-free (GF) mice have reduced stool output. Inhibition of NPC1L1 by its inhibitor ezetimibe reduces stool output in specific pathogen-free (SPF), but not GF mice. In addition, we show that GF versus SPF mice have reduced intestinal absorption and increased fecal excretion of cholesterol, particularly after treatment with ezetimibe. This negative balance of cholesterol in GF mice is associated with reduced plasma and hepatic cholesterol, and likely caused by reduced expression of NPC1L1 and increased expression of ABCG5 and ABCG8 in small intestine. Expression levels of other genes in intestine and liver largely reflect a state of cholesterol depletion and a decrease in intestinal sensing of bile acids. Altogether, our findings reveal a broad role of microbiota in regulating whole-body cholesterol homeostasis and its response to a cholesterol-lowering drug, ezetimibe.
Project description:Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 2 (NOD2), an intracellular pattern recognition receptor, induces autophagy on detection of muramyl dipeptide (MDP), a component of microbial cell walls. The role of bacteria and NOD2 signaling toward ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced intestinal injury response is unknown. Herein, we report that I/R-induced intestinal injury in germ-free (GF) C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) mice is worse than in conventionally derived mice. More important, microbiota-mediated protection against I/R-induced intestinal injury is abrogated in conventionally derived Nod2(-/-) mice and GF Nod2(-/-) mice. Also, WT mice raised in specific pathogen-free (SPF) conditions fared better against I/R-induced injury than SPF Nod2(-/-) mice. Moreover, SPF WT mice i.p. administered 10 mg/kg MDP were protected against injury compared with mice administered the inactive enantiomer, l-MDP, an effect lost in Nod2(-/-) mice. However, MDP administration failed to protect GF mice from I/R-induced intestinal injury compared with control, a phenomenon correlating with undetectable Nod2 mRNA level in the epithelium of GF mice. More important, the autophagy-inducer rapamycin protected Nod2(-/-) mice against I/R-induced injury and increased the levels of LC3(+) puncta in injured tissue of Nod2(-/-) mice. These findings demonstrate that NOD2 protects against I/R and promotes wound healing, likely through the induction of the autophagy response.
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.