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Nutrients 2017, 9(12), 1349; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9121349

Live Faecalibacterium prausnitzii Does Not Enhance Epithelial Barrier Integrity in an Apical Anaerobic Co-Culture Model of 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 4442, New Zealand
3
High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prebiotics and Probiotics)
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Abstract

Appropriate intestinal barrier maturation during infancy largely depends on colonization with commensal bacteria. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is an abundant obligate anaerobe that colonizes during weaning and is thought to maintain colonic health throughout life. We previously showed that F. prausnitzii induced Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) activation, which is linked to enhanced tight junction formation. Therefore, we hypothesized that F. prausnitzii enhances barrier integrity, an important factor in appropriate intestinal barrier maturation. In order to test metabolically active bacteria, we used a novel apical anaerobic co-culture system that allows the survival of both obligate anaerobic bacteria and oxygen-requiring intestinal epithelial cells (Caco-2). The first aim was to optimize the culture medium to enable growth and active metabolism of F. prausnitzii while maintaining the viability and barrier integrity, as measured by trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER), of the Caco-2 cells. This was achieved by supplementing the apical cell culture medium with bacterial culture medium. The second aim was to test the effect of F. prausnitzii on TEER across Caco-2 cell layers. Live F. prausnitzii did not improve TEER, which indicates that its benefits are not via altering tight junction integrity. The optimization of the novel dual-environment co-culturing system performed in this research will enable the investigation of new probiotics originating from indigenous beneficial bacteria. View Full-Text
Keywords: intestinal barrier maturation; intestinal microbiota; obligate anaerobic bacteria; tight junctions intestinal barrier maturation; intestinal microbiota; obligate anaerobic bacteria; tight junctions
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Maier, E.; Anderson, R.C.; Roy, N.C. Live Faecalibacterium prausnitzii Does Not Enhance Epithelial Barrier Integrity in an Apical Anaerobic Co-Culture Model of the Large Intestine. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1349.

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