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Effects of human fecal flora on intestinal morphology and mucosal immunity in human flora-associated piglet

Effects of human fecal flora on intestinal morphology and mucosal immunity in human flora-associated piglet

Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 69(3): 223-233

Human flora-associated (HFA) piglet model was established to examine the effects of gut microbes from a different donor species on the intestinal morphology and mucosal immunity. Newborn germ-free piglets, obtained by caesarean section, were orally inoculated with a human and a porcine faecal suspension, and artificially fed to establish a HFA group (n = 7) and pig flora-associated (PFA) group (n = 7), respectively. All pigs were killed 6 weeks later. Tissue samples from duodenum, jejunum, ileum and colon were collected and studied by histochemistry and immunohistochemistry methods for intestinal morphological analyses and detection of immunocompetent cells. In summary, both groups of pigs performed well but HFA pigs had a somewhat better daily weight gain, and their jejunal villus height and crypt depth were significantly higher. In comparison with PFA pigs, the number of intraepithelial lymphocytes in jejunum was lower but the number of goblet cells containing neutral mucins was significantly increased in HFA pigs. No difference was observed in the number of mast cells. The areas of IgA producing cells and CD4(+) T cells in the jejunum and IgG producing cells in the small intestine were significantly higher in HFA pigs. However, the areas of MHC class II expressing cells were significantly increased in the duodenum and colon. Additionally, the amount of Bifidobacteria spp. was significantly higher in HFA pigs. This study confirms that the composition of gut microbes differentially affects the host intestinal mucosal immunity and suggests that commensal bacteria have great effects on intestinal health and development.

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Accession: 052870234

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PMID: 19281534

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2008.02211.x

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