Transfer gut microbiota

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

Merete Ellekilde1*, Ellika Selfjord1*, Christian S. Larsen1, Maja Jakesevic1, Ida Rune1, Britt Tranberg1, Finn K. Vogensen2, Dennis S. Nielsen2, Martin I. Bahl3, Tine R. Licht3, Axel K. Hansen1 & Camilla H. F. Hansen1

1Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, 2Department of Food Science, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, 3National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, 2860 Søborg, Denmark.


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 b 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.
10 DECEMBER 2018