Transfer of gut microbiota from lean and obese mice to antibiotic-treated mice

Merete Ellekilde, Ellika Selfjord, Christian S. Larsen, Maja Jakesevic, Ida Rune, Britt Tranberg, Finn K. Vogensen, Dennis S. Nielsen, Martin Iain Bahl, Tine Rask Licht, Axel K. Hansen, Camilla H. F. Hansen

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Transferring gut microbiota from one individual to another may enable researchers to "humanize'' the gut of animal models and transfer phenotypes between species. To date, most studies of gut microbiota transfer are performed in germ-free mice. In the studies presented, it was tested whether an antibiotic treatment approach could be used instead. C57BL/6 mice were treated with ampicillin prior to inoculation at weaning or eight weeks of age with gut microbiota from lean or obese donors. The gut microbiota and clinical parameters of the recipients was characterized one and six weeks after inoculation. The results demonstrate, that the donor gut microbiota was introduced, established, and changed the gut microbiota of the recipients. Six weeks after inoculation, the differences persisted, however alteration of the gut microbiota occurred with time within the groups. The clinical parameters of the donor phenotype were partly transmissible from obese to lean mice, in particularly beta cell hyperactivity in the obese recipients. Thus, a successful inoculation of gut microbiota was not age dependent in order for the microbes to colonize, and transferring different microbial compositions to conventional antibiotic-treated mice was possible at least for a time period during which the microbiota may permanently modulate important host functions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5922
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Rodentia Mammalia Vertebrata Chordata Animalia (Animals, Chordates, Mammals, Nonhuman Vertebrates, Nonhuman Mammals, Rodents, Vertebrates) - Muridae [86375] mouse common mature, immature female strain-C57BL/6
  • ampicillin 69-53-4 antibacterial-drug, antiinfective-drug
  • 02506, Cytology - Animal
  • 10060, Biochemistry studies - General
  • 12512, Pathology - Therapy
  • 13002, Metabolism - General metabolism and metabolic pathways
  • 13020, Metabolism - Metabolic disorders
  • 13202, Nutrition - General studies, nutritional status and methods
  • 13203, Nutrition - Malnutrition and obesity
  • 14004, Digestive system - Physiology and biochemistry
  • 17002, Endocrine - General
  • 22002, Pharmacology - General
  • 38502, Chemotherapy - General, methods and metabolism
  • 38504, Chemotherapy - Antibacterial agents
  • Digestive System
  • Infection
  • Metabolism
  • Nutrition
  • Pharmacology
  • obesity Obesity (MeSH) metabolic disease, nutritional disease drug therapy
  • disease phenotype
  • gut microbiota transfer
  • lean state
  • microbial composition
  • weaning state
  • Ingestion and Assimilation
  • beta-cell endocrine system
  • gut digestive system
  • antibiotic therapy therapeutic and prophylactic techniques, clinical techniques
  • DIET


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