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Disruption of maternal gut microbiota during gestation alters offspring microbiota and immunity.

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PubMed ID: 29981583

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Nyangahu DD, Lennard KS, Brown BP, Darby MG, Wendoh JM, Havyarimana E, Smith P, Butcher J, Stintzi A, Mulder N, Horsnell W, Jaspan HB

Microbiome. 07 2018. doi: 10.1186/s40168-018-0511-7

COMMENT: The objective of this study was to analyze how maternal microbiome determines infant immunity. For that, the authors analyze longitudinally (at several time points) adaptive immunity and gut microbiome in mice dyads (dams and pups) after delivery. This was the design of the study:

... pregnant BALB/c dams were fed vancomycin for 5 days prior to delivery (gestation; Mg), 14 days postpartum during nursing (Mn), or during gestation and nursing (Mgn), or no vancomycin (Mc). We analyzed adaptive immunity and gut microbiota in dams and pups at various times after delivery.

Gut microbiome of the pups was different depending on the timing of maternal vancomycin administration. Given that vancomycin was not detected in maternal and offspring sera it is probable that this was an indirect effect mediated by maternal microbiome. Higher levels of total IgG and IgM were detected in maternal breastmilk from the groups Mgn (vancomycin during gestation and nursing) and Mn (vancomycin 14 days postpartum during nursing) compared with the group of mice that was not fed adding vancomycin. Lymphocyte numbers in the spleens were significantly increased in the pups from groups Mg (vancomycin for 5 days prior to delivery) and Mn (vancomycin 14 days postpartum during nursing).

The authors conclude:

Our results indicate that perturbations to maternal gut microbiota dictate neonatal adaptive immunity.

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Raquel Tobes