Human microbiota-transplanted C57BL/6 mice and offspring display reduced establishment of key bacteria and reduced immune stimulation compared to mouse microbiota-transplantation

Randi Lundberg*, Martin F. Toft, Stine Broeng Metzdorff, Camilla H. F. Hansen, Tine Rask Licht, Martin Iain Bahl, Axel K. Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Transplantation of germ-free (GF) mice with microbiota from mice or humans stimulates the intestinal immune system in disparate ways. We transplanted a human microbiota into GF C57BL/6 mice and a murine C57BL/6 microbiota into GF C57BL/6 mice and Swiss-Webster (SW) mice. Mice were bred to produce an offspring generation. 56% of the Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) present in the human donor microbiota established in the recipient mice, whereas 81% of the C57BL/6 OTUs established in the recipient C57BL/6 and SW mice. Anti-inflammatory bacteria such as Faecalibacterium and Bifidobacterium from humans were not transferred to mice. Expression of immune-related intestinal genes was lower in human microbiota-mice and not different between parent and offspring generation. Expression of intestinal barrier-related genes was slightly higher in human microbiota-mice. Cytokines and chemokines measured in plasma were differentially present in human and mouse microbiota-mice. Minor differences in microbiota and gene expression were found between transplanted mice of different genetics. It is concluded that important immune-regulating bacteria are lost when transplanting microbiota from humans to C57BL/6 mice, and that the established human microbiota is a weak stimulator of the murine immune system. The results are important for study design considerations in microbiota transplantation studies involving immunological parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7805
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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