The mucus layer in the colon, acting as a barrier to prevent invasion of pathogens, is thinner and discontinuous in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). A recent developed in vitro dynamic gut model, the M-SHIME, was used to compare long-term colonization of the mucin layer by the microbiota from six healthy volunteers (HV) and six UC patients and thus distinguish the mucin adhered from the luminal microbiota. Although under the same nutritional conditions, short-chain fatty acid production by the luminal communities from UC patients showed a tendency toward a lower butyrate production. A more in-depth community analysis of those microbial groups known to produce butyrate revealed that the diversity of the Clostridium coccoides/Eubacterium rectale and Clostridium leptum group, and counts of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii were lower in the luminal fractions of the UC samples. Counts of Roseburia spp. were lower in the mucosal fractions of the UC samples. qPCR analysis for butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA transferase, responsible for butyrate production, displayed a lower abundance in both the luminal and mucosal fractions of the UC samples. The M-SHIME model revealed depletion in butyrate producing microbial communities not restricted to the luminal but also in the mucosal samples from UC patients compared to HV.
© 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.