Assessment of the Inflammatory Effects of Gut Microbiota from Human Twins Discordant for Ulcerative Colitis on Germ-free Mice

Lina A Knudsen, Zachariassen Line Sf, Mikael L Strube, Jesper F Havelund, Bartosz Pilecki, Anders B Nexoe, Frederik T Moller, Signe B Sørensen, Niels Marcussen, Nils J Færgeman, Andre Franke, Corinna Bang, Uffe Holmskov, Axel K Hansen, Vibeke Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Disturbances in gut microbiota are prevalent in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis (UC). However, whether these disturbances contribute to development of the disease or are a result of the disease is unclear. In pairs of human twins discordant for IBD, the healthy twin has a higher risk of developing IBD and a gut microbiota that is more similar to that of IBD patients as compared with healthy individuals. Furthermore, appropriate medical treatment may mitigate these disturbances. To study the correlation between microbiota and IBD, we transferred stool samples from a discordant human twin pair: one twin being healthy and the other receiving treatment for UC. The stool samples were transferred from the disease-discordant twins to germ-free pregnant dams. Colitis was induced in the offspring using dextran sodium sulfate. As compared with offspring born to mice dams inoculated with stool from the healthy cotwin, offspring born to dams inoculated with stool from the UC-afflicted twin had a lower disease activity index, less gut inflammation, and a microbiota characterized by higher α diversity and a more antiinflammatory profile that included the presence and higher abundance of antiinflammatory species such as Akkermansia spp., Bacteroides spp., and Parabacteroides spp. These findings suggest that the microbiota from the healthy twin may have had greater inflammatory properties than did that of the twin undergoing UC treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComparative Medicine
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)55-69
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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