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Lactate Metabolism Is Strongly Modulated by Fecal Inoculum, pH, and Retention Time in PolyFermS Continuous Colonic Fermentation Models Mimicking Young Infant Proximal Colon


Pham, Van Thanh; Chassard, Christophe; Rifa, Etienne; Braegger, Christian; Geirnaert, Annelies; Rocha Martin, Vanesa Natalin; Lacroix, Christophe (2019). Lactate Metabolism Is Strongly Modulated by Fecal Inoculum, pH, and Retention Time in PolyFermS Continuous Colonic Fermentation Models Mimicking Young Infant Proximal Colon. mSystems, 4(4):e00264.

Abstract

The metabolism of lactate impacts infant gut health and may lead to acute accumulation of lactate and/or H$_{2}$ associated with pain and crying of colicky infants. Because gut microbiota studies are limited due to ethical and safety concerns, in vitro fermentation models were developed as powerful tools to assess effects of environmental conditions on the gut microbiota. In this study, we established a continuous colonic fermentation model (PolyFermS), inoculated with immobilized fecal microbiota and mimicking the proximal colon of 2-month-old infants. We investigated the effects of pH and retention time (RT) on lactate metabolism and of lactate-utilizing bacteria (LUB) exhibiting little or no H$_{2}$ production. We observed that a drop in pH from 6.0 to 5.0 increased the number of lactate-producing bacteria (LPB) and decreased LUB concomitantly with lactate accumulation. Increasing RT from 5 to 10 h at pH 5.0 resulted in complete lactate consumption associated with increased LUB. Supplementation with dl-lactate (60 mM) to mimic lactate accumulation promoted propionate and butyrate production with no effect on acetate production. We further demonstrated that lactate-utilizing Propionibacterium avidum was able to colonize the reactors 4 days after spiking, suggesting its ability to compete with other lactate-utilizing bacteria producing H$_{2}$ In conclusion, we showed that PolyFermS is a suitable model for mimicking young infant colonic microbiota. We report for the first time pH and RT as strong drivers for composition and metabolic activity of infant gut microbiota, especially for the metabolism of lactate, which is a key intermediate product for ecology and infant health.IMPORTANCE The metabolism of lactate is important for infant gut health and may lead to acute lactate and/or H$_{2}$ accumulation, pain, and crying as observed in colicky infants. Functional human studies often faced ethical challenges due to invasive medical procedures; thus, in this study, we implemented PolyFermS fermentation models to mimic the infant proximal colon, which were inoculated with immobilized fecal microbiota of two 2-month-old infants. We investigated the impact of pH, retention time, and accumulation of dl-lactate on microbiota composition and metabolic activity. We found that a drop in pH from 6.0 to 5.0 led to increased LPB and decreased LUB concomitantly with lactate accumulation. Increasing the RT resulted in complete lactate consumption associated with increased LUB. Our data highlight for the first time the impact of key abiotic factors on the metabolism of lactate, which is an important intermediate product for ecology and infant health.

Abstract

The metabolism of lactate impacts infant gut health and may lead to acute accumulation of lactate and/or H$_{2}$ associated with pain and crying of colicky infants. Because gut microbiota studies are limited due to ethical and safety concerns, in vitro fermentation models were developed as powerful tools to assess effects of environmental conditions on the gut microbiota. In this study, we established a continuous colonic fermentation model (PolyFermS), inoculated with immobilized fecal microbiota and mimicking the proximal colon of 2-month-old infants. We investigated the effects of pH and retention time (RT) on lactate metabolism and of lactate-utilizing bacteria (LUB) exhibiting little or no H$_{2}$ production. We observed that a drop in pH from 6.0 to 5.0 increased the number of lactate-producing bacteria (LPB) and decreased LUB concomitantly with lactate accumulation. Increasing RT from 5 to 10 h at pH 5.0 resulted in complete lactate consumption associated with increased LUB. Supplementation with dl-lactate (60 mM) to mimic lactate accumulation promoted propionate and butyrate production with no effect on acetate production. We further demonstrated that lactate-utilizing Propionibacterium avidum was able to colonize the reactors 4 days after spiking, suggesting its ability to compete with other lactate-utilizing bacteria producing H$_{2}$ In conclusion, we showed that PolyFermS is a suitable model for mimicking young infant colonic microbiota. We report for the first time pH and RT as strong drivers for composition and metabolic activity of infant gut microbiota, especially for the metabolism of lactate, which is a key intermediate product for ecology and infant health.IMPORTANCE The metabolism of lactate is important for infant gut health and may lead to acute lactate and/or H$_{2}$ accumulation, pain, and crying as observed in colicky infants. Functional human studies often faced ethical challenges due to invasive medical procedures; thus, in this study, we implemented PolyFermS fermentation models to mimic the infant proximal colon, which were inoculated with immobilized fecal microbiota of two 2-month-old infants. We investigated the impact of pH, retention time, and accumulation of dl-lactate on microbiota composition and metabolic activity. We found that a drop in pH from 6.0 to 5.0 led to increased LPB and decreased LUB concomitantly with lactate accumulation. Increasing the RT resulted in complete lactate consumption associated with increased LUB. Our data highlight for the first time the impact of key abiotic factors on the metabolism of lactate, which is an important intermediate product for ecology and infant health.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:28 May 2019
Deposited On:24 Jan 2020 13:46
Last Modified:01 Feb 2020 18:09
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:2379-5077
OA Status:Green
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1128/mSystems.00264-18
PubMed ID:31138674

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