Study Explores Unclear Contribution of Gut Bacteria to Inflammation in Human Microbiota-Associated Mice

Study Explores Unclear Contribution of Gut Bacteria to Inflammation in Human Microbiota-Associated Mice
A new study published in the journal Gut Pathogens revealed that human microbiota-associated mice (HMA mice) — colonized with microbes from patients suffering from ulcerative colitis (UC) — did not develop spontaneous colitis, but might be more susceptible to developing disease. The study, entitled "Development of gut inflammation in mice colonized with mucosa-associated bacteria from patients with ulcerative colitis," is an important step towards understanding the role of gut microbiota in UC.

Zhengyu Du and colleagues from The Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic have previously investigated the effect of experimentally induced gut inflammation in normal and germ-free mice, noticing that inflammation in the germ-free mice was milder. A natural next step was to investigate the effects of inflammation in mice colonized with gut bacteria from patients with UC.

The authors of the study point out that it is the bacteria associated with the gut wall that is of interest for UC research. Bacteria usually present in the feces does not normally interact with the intestinal wall, which is protected by a thick layer of mucus. Patients with UC, however, have more bacteria in their gut wall than healthy individuals, and it is not known whether this is a result of the inflammation, or a factor contributing to the development of inflammation in the gut.

Germ-free mice were

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