Changes in intestinal gene expression and microbiota composition during late pregnancy are mouse strain dependent

Elderman, M., Hugenholtz, F., Belzer, C., Boekschoten, M., de Haan, B., de Vos, P. & Faas, M., 3-Jul-2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 1, 12 p., 10001.

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Hormones and placental factors are thought to underlie the maternal immunological changes during pregnancy. However, as several intestinal microbiota are linked to immune modulations, we hypothesized that the intestinal microbiota are altered during pregnancy in favor of species associated with pregnancy associated immune modulations. We studied the fecal microbiota composition (MITchip) and intestinal and peripheral immune cells (microarray and flow cytometry) in pregnant and non-pregnant C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. Pregnancy influenced intestinal microbiota diversity and composition, however in a mouse strain dependent way. Pregnant BALB/c mice had, among others, a relative higher abundance of Lactobacillus paracasei et rel., Roseburia intestinalis et rel. and Eubacterium hallii et rel., as compared to non-pregnant BALB/c mice, while the microbiota composition in B6 mice hardly changed during pregnancy. Additionally, intestinal immunological pathways were changed during pregnancy, however again in a mouse strain dependent way. Correlations between various bacteria and immunological genes were observed. Our data do support a role for the microbiome in changing immune responses in pregnancy. However, other factors are also involved, such as for instance changes in SCFA or changes in sensitivity to bacteria, since although immunological changes are observed in B6 mice, hardly any changes in microbiota were found in this strain. Follow up studies are needed to study the exact relationship between these parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10001
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3-Jul-2018

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