Streptomycin treatment alters the intestinal microbiome, pulmonary T cell profile and airway hyperresponsiveness in a cystic fibrosis mouse model

Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 12:6:19189. doi: 10.1038/srep19189.


Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator deficient mouse models develop phenotypes of relevance to clinical cystic fibrosis (CF) including airway hyperresponsiveness, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and an altered intestinal microbiome. As dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota has been recognized as an important contributor to many systemic diseases, herein we investigated whether altering the intestinal microbiome of BALB/c Cftr(tm1UNC) mice and wild-type littermates, through treatment with the antibiotic streptomycin, affects the CF lung, intestinal and bone disease. We demonstrate that streptomycin treatment reduced the intestinal bacterial overgrowth in Cftr(tm1UNC) mice and altered the intestinal microbiome similarly in Cftr(tm1UNC) and wild-type mice, principally by affecting Lactobacillus levels. Airway hyperresponsiveness of Cftr(tm1UNC) mice was ameliorated with streptomycin, and correlated with Lactobacillus abundance in the intestine. Additionally, streptomycin treated Cftr(tm1UNC) and wild-type mice displayed an increased percentage of pulmonary and mesenteric lymph node Th17, CD8 + IL-17+ and CD8 + IFNγ+ lymphocytes, while the CF-specific increase in respiratory IL-17 producing γδ T cells was decreased in streptomycin treated Cftr(tm1UNC) mice. Bone disease and intestinal phenotypes were not affected by streptomycin treatment. The airway hyperresponsiveness and lymphocyte profile of BALB/c Cftr(tm1UNC) mice were affected by streptomycin treatment, revealing a potential intestinal microbiome influence on lung response in BALB/c Cftr(tm1UNC) mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Load
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Immunomodulation / drug effects
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Metagenome
  • Metagenomics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Phenotype
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / mortality
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / pathology*
  • Streptomycin / pharmacology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / drug effects*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / pathology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Streptomycin