Preterm infant meconium microbiota transplant induces growth failure, inflammatory activation, and metabolic disturbances in germ-free mice

Henni Hiltunen, Hila Hanani, Raakel Luoto, Sondra Turjeman, Oren Ziv, Erika Isolauri, Seppo Salminen, Omry Koren, Samuli Rautava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Preterm birth may result in adverse health outcomes. Very preterm infants typically exhibit postnatal growth restriction, metabolic disturbances, and exaggerated inflammatory responses. We investigated the differences in the meconium microbiota composition between very preterm (<32 weeks), moderately preterm (32–37 weeks), and term (>37 weeks) human neonates by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Human meconium microbiota transplants to germ-free mice were conducted to investigate whether the meconium microbiota is causally related to the preterm infant phenotype in an experimental model. Our results indicate that very preterm birth is associated with a distinct meconium microbiota composition. Fecal microbiota transplant of very preterm infant meconium results in impaired growth, altered intestinal immune function, and metabolic parameters as compared to term infant meconium transplants in germ-free mice. This finding suggests that measures aiming to minimize the long-term adverse consequences of very preterm birth should be commenced during pregnancy or directly after birth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100447
JournalCell Reports Medicine
Volume2
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Funding

We would like to thank our research nurses for their assistance. The study was funded by the Finnish Society for Pediatric Research and the Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation . The study sponsors had no role in study design; the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; the writing of the report; or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

FundersFunder number
Finnish Society for Pediatric Research
Päivikki ja Sakari Sohlbergin Säätiö

    Keywords

    • fecal microbiota transplant
    • germ-free mice
    • growth
    • gut microbiota
    • inflammation
    • metabolism
    • preterm infant

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