Discordance between changes in the gut microbiota and pathogenicity in a mouse model of spontaneous colitis

Gut Microbes. 2014 May-Jun;5(3):286-95. doi: 10.4161/gmic.28622. Epub 2014 Mar 24.


Under conventional conditions, mice deficient in core 1-derived O-glycans (TM-IEC C1galt1(-/-)), which have a defective mucus layer, experienced spontaneous inflammation of the colon. Analysis of fecal bacterial populations by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene showed that disease in conventional TM-IEC C1galt1(-/-) was associated with shifts in the microbiota manifested by increases in Lactobacillus and Clostridium species, and decreases in unclassified Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae. Under germ-free (GF) conditions, TM-IEC C1galt1(-/-) presented decreased goblet cells, but did not develop inflammation. Monoassociation of GF TM-IEC C1galt1(-/-) revealed that bacterial species differ significantly in their ability to induce inflammatory changes. Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron caused inflammation, while Lactobacillus johnsonii (enriched during colitis) did not. These observations demonstrate that not all microbiota shifts that correlate with disease contribute to pathogenesis.

Keywords: Akkermasia muciniphila; Bacteroides sartorii; Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron; Clostridium; Lactobacillus johnsonii; core 1 O-glycans deficient mice; dysbiosis; gut microbiota; pyrosequencing; spontaneous colitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / growth & development*
  • Biota*
  • Colitis / microbiology*
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colon / microbiology*
  • Colon / pathology
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / chemistry
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dysbiosis / complications*
  • Galactosyltransferases / deficiency*
  • Humans
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • C1galt1 protein, mouse
  • Galactosyltransferases