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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of fecal microorganisms and their chloroform-resistant variants derived from mice, rats, and humans on immunological and physiological characteristics of the intestines of ex-germfree mice.

In order to elucidate the nature of intestinal flora affecting the immunological and physiological parameters of the intestine, we produced several kinds of ex-germfree mice associated with fecal organisms and their chloroform-resistant variants derived from mice, rats, and humans. The phenotypes of intraepithelial lymphocytes were changed to those in conventional mice, particularly the increased positive percentage of alpha beta T-cell-receptor and Thy-1-bearing T cells, on association of the microorganisms (MF) and their chloroform resistant variants (MChl) derived from mice, but not rats and humans, with germfree mice. The cytolytic activity of intraepithelial lymphocytes was expressed only in the MF and MChl groups. The induction of the synthesis of fucosyl asialo GM1 glycolipid, the expression of major histocompatibility complex class II molecule, an increase in the mitotic indices of colonic epithelial cells, and a decrease in lactase activity of the small intestinal epithelial cells also occurred only in the two groups. On the other hand, the cecal size (cecal weight/body weight ratio) was reduced in the mice of all groups examined here, there being approximately the same amount and composition of organic acids, such as acetic acid, butyric acid, and propionic acid, in the cecal contents. Taken together, the results suggest that mouse-specific and chloroform-resistant microorganisms, which are difficult to cultivate at present, may contribute to alteration of the immunological and epithelial characteristics of the mouse intestine. Another factor derived from the intestinal flora, for example, bacterial metabolites such as organic acids, may also affect the cecal size.[1]


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