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Cell Host Microbe. 2015 Nov 11;18(5):582-92. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.10.007. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

Normalization of Host Intestinal Mucus Layers Requires Long-Term Microbial Colonization.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden.
2
Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Gothenburg, SE-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.
3
Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden. Electronic address: gunnar.hansson@medkem.gu.se.

Abstract

The intestinal mucus layer provides a barrier limiting bacterial contact with the underlying epithelium. Mucus structure is shaped by intestinal location and the microbiota. To understand how commensals modulate gut mucus, we examined mucus properties under germ-free (GF) conditions and during microbial colonization. Although the colon mucus organization of GF mice was similar to that of conventionally raised (Convr) mice, the GF inner mucus layer was penetrable to bacteria-sized beads. During colonization, in which GF mice were gavaged with Convr microbiota, the small intestine mucus required 5 weeks to be normally detached and colonic inner mucus 6 weeks to become impenetrable. The composition of the small intestinal microbiota during colonization was similar to Convr donors until 3 weeks, when Bacteroides increased, Firmicutes decreased, and segmented filamentous bacteria became undetectable. These findings highlight the dynamics of mucus layer development and indicate that studies of mature microbe-mucus interactions should be conducted weeks after colonization.

PMID:
26526499
PMCID:
PMC4648652
DOI:
10.1016/j.chom.2015.10.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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