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Nutrients 2015, 7(1), 45-73; doi:10.3390/nu7010045

Understanding How Commensal Obligate Anaerobic Bacteria Regulate Immune Functions in the Large Intestine

1
Food Nutrition & Health Team, Food & Bio-based Products Group, AgResearch Grasslands, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
2
Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North 4474, New Zealand
3
Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 October 2014 / Accepted: 9 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiome and Human Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [634 KB, uploaded 24 December 2014]   |  

Abstract

The human gastrointestinal tract is colonised by trillions of commensal bacteria, most of which are obligate anaerobes residing in the large intestine. Appropriate bacterial colonisation is generally known to be critical for human health. In particular, the development and function of the immune system depends on microbial colonisation, and a regulated cross-talk between commensal bacteria, intestinal epithelial cells and immune cells is required to maintain mucosal immune homeostasis. This homeostasis is disturbed in various inflammatory disorders, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. Several in vitro and in vivo studies indicate a role for Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bacteroides fragilis, Akkermansia muciniphila and segmented filamentous bacteria in maintaining intestinal immune homeostasis. These obligate anaerobes are abundant in the healthy intestine but reduced in several inflammatory diseases, suggesting an association with protective effects on human health. However, knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the effects of obligate anaerobic intestinal bacteria remains limited, in part due to the difficulty of co-culturing obligate anaerobes together with oxygen-requiring human epithelial cells. By using novel dual-environment co-culture models, it will be possible to investigate the effects of the unstudied majority of intestinal microorganisms on the human epithelia. This knowledge will provide opportunities for improving human health and reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: intestinal microbiota; intestinal immune homeostasis; obligate anaerobic bacteria; Faecalibacterium prausnitzii; Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron; Bacteroides fragilis; Akkermansia muciniphila; segmented filamentous bacteria; dual-environment co-culture models intestinal microbiota; intestinal immune homeostasis; obligate anaerobic bacteria; Faecalibacterium prausnitzii; Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron; Bacteroides fragilis; Akkermansia muciniphila; segmented filamentous bacteria; dual-environment co-culture models
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Maier, E.; Anderson, R.C.; Roy, N.C. Understanding How Commensal Obligate Anaerobic Bacteria Regulate Immune Functions in the Large Intestine. Nutrients 2015, 7, 45-73.

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