Microbiota

Model for maintaining integrity

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Science  23 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6417, pp. 906-907
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6417.906-g

The relationships between the gut microbiota, host cells, and food are complicated. Dissecting these interactions is impossible in mice, let alone in humans. Shin and Kim developed a human “gut inflammation–on-a-chip” microfluidic model, complete with villi and peristalsis to explore gut biology. They investigated events following application of the irritant dextran sodium sulfate (DSS), which is often used in mice to stimulate gut inflammation. By disrupting the chip epithelium and removing mucus, DSS facilitated contact between the dissociated epithelial cells and peripheral immune cells and triggered oxidative stress. In the presence of Escherichia coli, the epithelial cells produced inflammatory cytokines. After removal of DSS, epithelial regrowth and mucus production restored gut barrier function within days, but probiotics were only helpful before DSS was applied.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 115, E10539 (2018).

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