The quality of the colon mucus in mice depends on the composition of gut microbiota, reports a Swedish-Norwegian team of researchers from the University of Gothenburg and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Oslo. The work, published in EMBO reports, suggests that bacteria in the gut affect mucus barrier properties in ways that can have implications for health and disease.
“Genetically similar mice with subtle but stable and transmissible intestinal microbiota showed unexpectedly large differences in the inner colon mucus layer. The composition of the gut microbiota has significant effects on mucus properties,” says Malin E.V. Johansson from the University of Gothenburg who led the study.
By sequencing the microbiota and examining the 16S ribosomal RNA genes, the researchers discovered that two mouse colonies maintained in two different rooms in the same specific pathogen-free facility had different gut microbiota. They also had a mucus structure that was specific for each colony. Whereas one colony developed mucus that was not penetrable to bacteria, the other colony had an inner mucus layer permeable to bacteria.
Each group of mice had a stable population of bacteria that could be maternally transmitted: The group with impenetrable mucus had increased amounts of Erysipelotrichi bacteria, while the other group had higher levels of Proteobacteria and TM7 bacteria in the distal colon mucus. Free-living mice from the forest had mucus similar in composition to that found in mice in the non-penetrable colony. The authors also showed that the bacterial composition could be modulated to a small extent through the diet.
“The results from the free-living mice strongly argue for the importance of a well-developed inner mucus layer that efficiently separates bacteria from the host epithelium for the overall health of the mice,” says Johansson.
The different mucus properties were recreated by transplanting the microbial communities into germ-free mice. “After recolonisation of germ-free mice with the different microbiota we observed the same structural and functional differences in their mucus properties,” added Johansson.
Mucus is our outermost barrier to our microbiota in the gut. If the mucus fails to offer a protective barrier it can allow more bacteria to come in contact with our epithelium in a way that can trigger colon inflammation. Diseases such as ulcerative colitis show an increased incidence in the Western world and this study emphasizes the importance of the composition of the microbiota for an impenetrable protective mucus barrier.
The gut microbiota composition impairs the colon inner mucus layer barrier
Hedvig E Jakobsson, Ana M Rodríguez-Piñeiro, André Schütte, Anna Ermund, Preben Boysen, Mats Bemark, Felix Sommer, Fredrik Bäckhed, Gunnar C Hansson, and Malin E V Johansson.
Read the paper: doi: 10.15252/embr.201439263
Further information on EMBO reports is available at www.embor.embopress.org
Editor, EMBO reports
Tel: +49 6221 8891 305
Yvonne Kaul | EMBO
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences