A review of applied aspects of dealing with gut microbiota impact on rodent models

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The gut microbiota (GM) affects numerous human diseases, as well as rodent models for these. We will review this impact and summarize ways to handle this challenge in animal research. The GM is complex, with the largest fractions being the gram-positive phylum Firmicutes and the gram-negative phylum Bacteroidetes. Other important phyla are the gram-negative phyla Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia, and the gram-positive phylum Actinobacteria. GM members influence models for diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases, allergies, autoimmunity, cancer, and neuropsychiatric diseases. GM characterization of all individual animals and incorporation of their GM composition in data evaluation may therefore be considered in future protocols. Germfree isolator-housed rodents or rodents made virtually germ free by antibiotic cocktails can be used to study diverse microbial influences on disease expression. Through subsequent inoculation with selected strains or cocktails of microbes, new "defined flora" models can yield valuable knowledge on the impact of the GM, and of specific GM members and their interactions, on important disease phenotypes and mechanisms. Rodent husbandry and microbial quality assurance practices will be important to ensure and confirm appropriate and research relevant GM.

Original languageEnglish
JournalILAR Journal
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)250-64
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 143704402