Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > On the trail of mucus-eaters in the gut

his shows corresponding FISH (left) and NanoSIMS (right) analysis of gut microorganisms. Bacteroides or Akkermansia cells were stained with the aid of specific FISH probes. The amount of stable isotope 15N was analyzed in the same cells by NanoSIMS. The higher the 15N content of a cell, the more intestinal mucosa was taken up. White arrows point to cells that have taken up mucus. The Bacteroides cell marked with a green arrow has not fed on mucus.

Copyright: Department of Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna.
his shows corresponding FISH (left) and NanoSIMS (right) analysis of gut microorganisms. Bacteroides or Akkermansia cells were stained with the aid of specific FISH probes. The amount of stable isotope 15N was analyzed in the same cells by NanoSIMS. The higher the 15N content of a cell, the more intestinal mucosa was taken up. White arrows point to cells that have taken up mucus. The Bacteroides cell marked with a green arrow has not fed on mucus.

Copyright: Department of Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna.

Abstract:
The microbiology team of David Berry, Alexander Loy and Michael Wagner from the Faculty of Life Sciences, in collaboration with scientists at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna) and with the help of NanoSIMS technology, has for the first time succeeded in directly observing microorganisms feeding on the intestinal mucosa. The results of this research project appear in the current issue of the prestigious journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (PNAS).

On the trail of mucus-eaters in the gut

Vienna, Austria | Posted on March 5th, 2013

To understand the research project by Michael Wagner and his team, one must be ready to follow the microbiologists into the depths of mouse intestine. Michael Wagner, Professor for Microbial Ecology, provides this analogy: "Much like cows grazing in a meadow, intestinal bacteria can feed on mucus secreted by the mucosal tissue. There are a group of microorganisms that do not nourish themselves from mouse food, but rather are specialized in feeding on the secreted products of their host." The intestinal mucus layer is a vital barrier to block pathogenic microorganisms from entering the body and also plays a major role in inflammatory bowel disease. That is why scientists are very interested to know which bacteria inhabit the mucus layer in healthy organisms and thus may suppress the colonization and degradation of this barrier by pathogens.

Cooperation: Department of Microbial Ecology and Max F. Perutz Laboratories

The team led by Michael Wagner and Alexander Loy wanted to know as part of their activities supported by the Austrian Genome Research Program GEN-AU: Which organisms in healthy mice consider the mucosa and intestinal mucus layer a delicacy? "We've come up with an experimental setup that allows us for the first time to look into the intestine and directly observe organisms grazing on the mucus and measure how much mucus they have taken up," said team leader Alexander Loy from the Department of Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna. To do this, the microbiologists in collaboration with the teams of Thomas Decker, Department of Microbiology, Immunobiology and Genetics at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories and Bärbel Stecher of the University of Munich, labeled an amino acid with stable isotopes that once in the bloodstream mostly ends up in the mucus. Wagner explains, "It became clear from the isotope ratio mass spectrometry measurements made by our collaborators Andreas Richter and Wolfgang Wanek from the Department of Terrestrial Ecosystems Research, University of Vienna, that after only a few hours the isotopes had arrived in the intestinal mucosa, where they were broken down by bacteria." A method was now established to identify bacteria feeding on the mucus layer with single-cell resolution.

Research success through the NanoSIMS-Facility of the University of Vienna

The key tool in the investigation was the high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry, or NanoSIMS for short. It is a device that cost more than 2 million euros and since its installation in February 2010 at the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Vienna has been in use by the team led by Michael Wagner for applications in microbiology and ecology. "This technology allows us to exactly quantify the amount of stable isotopes taken up by each microbial cell in a gut sample," says Arno Schintlmeister, who operates the unit at the Faculty.

"The investment costs for the NanoSIMS device were high, and it took some time before we were able to integrate this highly complex device completely in our research. Now however, our patience will be rewarded: The University of Vienna has the world's first study in which one does not have to indirectly infer the function of individual intestinal bacteria cells but can measure it directly", said microbiologist Michael Wagner This research approach has great potential and is a topic that will continue to be a research priority in the working groups led by David Berry and Alexander Loy in the coming years.

Gut microbiota is hot research topic

The bacterial cells measured by NanoSIMS facility were identified using fluorescence in situ hybridization - FISH for short - in the confocal laser-scanning microscope. "We have identified a number of mucus-eating microorganisms and clearly the most important players are Akkermansia muciniphilia and Bacteroides acidifaciens," explains Wagner, "The gut microbiota is a very hot research topic worldwide because the composition of our gut microbial communities appears to correlate with many diseases - from obesity and autism to inflammatory bowel disease."

Participating Institutions

Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Max von Pettenkofer Institute of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Department of Microbiology, Immunobiology and Genetics at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Michael Wagner

43-142-775-4390

Copyright © University of Vienna

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Publication in PNAS

The study was conducted as part of the GEN-AU joint project Inflammobiota:

Related News Press

News and information

Video captures bubble-blowing battery in action: Researchers propose how bubbles form, could lead to smaller lithium-air batteries April 26th, 2017

New Product Nanoparticle preparation from Intertronics with new Thinky NP-100 Nano Pulveriser April 26th, 2017

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

Affordable STM32 Cloud-Connectable Kit from STMicroelectronics Puts More Features On-Board for Fast and Flexible IoT-Device Development April 26th, 2017

Imaging

Nanoparticles open new window for biological imaging: “Quantum dots” that emit infrared light enable highly detailed images of internal body structures April 10th, 2017

The Catholic University of Rome uses the JPK NanoWizard® AFM & CellHesion® systems to understand how cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli April 5th, 2017

Tiny sensor lays groundwork for precision X-rays detection via endoscopy:Nanoscale fiber-integrated X-ray sensor opens new doors for medical imaging and radiotherapy March 29th, 2017

“Cysteine Rose” Wins 2016 Thermo Fisher Scientific Electron Microscopy Image Contest: Thermo Fisher honors Andrea Jacassi of the Italian Institute of Technology for image of cysteine crystals using focused ion beam techniques March 27th, 2017

Nanomedicine

New Product Nanoparticle preparation from Intertronics with new Thinky NP-100 Nano Pulveriser April 26th, 2017

Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight multiple cancer types April 24th, 2017

Arrowhead Presents ARC-520 and ARC-521 Clinical Data at The International Liver Congress(TM) April 20th, 2017

Nano-SPEARs gently measure electrical signals in small animals: Rice University's tiny needles simplify data gathering to probe diseases, test drugs April 17th, 2017

Discoveries

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

Using light to propel water : With new method, MIT engineers can control and separate fluids on a surface using only visible light April 25th, 2017

Graphene holds up under high pressure: Used in filtration membranes, ultrathin material could help make desalination more productive April 24th, 2017

Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight multiple cancer types April 24th, 2017

Announcements

Video captures bubble-blowing battery in action: Researchers propose how bubbles form, could lead to smaller lithium-air batteries April 26th, 2017

New Product Nanoparticle preparation from Intertronics with new Thinky NP-100 Nano Pulveriser April 26th, 2017

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

Affordable STM32 Cloud-Connectable Kit from STMicroelectronics Puts More Features On-Board for Fast and Flexible IoT-Device Development April 26th, 2017

Tools

New Product Nanoparticle preparation from Intertronics with new Thinky NP-100 Nano Pulveriser April 26th, 2017

Affordable STM32 Cloud-Connectable Kit from STMicroelectronics Puts More Features On-Board for Fast and Flexible IoT-Device Development April 26th, 2017

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

Research partnerships

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

Better living through pressure: Functional nanomaterials made easy April 19th, 2017

Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide April 14th, 2017

AIM Photonics Presents Cutting-Edge Integrated Photonics Technology Developments to Packed House at OFC 2017, the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition April 11th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project