Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Quantum states in a nano-object manipulated using a mechanical system August 3rd, 2015

Nanoparticles used to breach mucus barrier in lungs: Proof-of-concept study conducted in mice a key step toward better treatments for lung diseases August 3rd, 2015

Promising Step Taken in Iran towards Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury August 3rd, 2015

Diagnosis of Salmonella Bacterium-Caused Food Poisoning by Biosensors August 3rd, 2015

Imaging

Thin films offer promise for ferroelectric devices: Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology demystify the ferroelectric properties observed in hafnium-oxide-based thin films, revealing a potentially useful device material August 3rd, 2015

Take a trip through the brain July 30th, 2015

Publication on Atomic Force Microscopy based nanoscale IR Spectroscopy (AFM-IR) persists as a 2015 top downloaded paper July 29th, 2015

Short wavelength plasmons observed in nanotubes: Berkeley Lab researchers create Ludinger liquid plasmons in metallic SWNTs July 28th, 2015

Nanomedicine

Nanoparticles used to breach mucus barrier in lungs: Proof-of-concept study conducted in mice a key step toward better treatments for lung diseases August 3rd, 2015

Promising Step Taken in Iran towards Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury August 3rd, 2015

Diagnosis of Salmonella Bacterium-Caused Food Poisoning by Biosensors August 3rd, 2015

Gold-diamond nanodevice for hyperlocalised cancer therapy: Gold nanorods can be used as remote controlled nanoheaters delivering the right amount of thermal treatment to cancer cells, thanks to diamond nanocrystals used as temperature sensors August 1st, 2015

Discoveries

Small tilt in magnets makes them viable memory chips August 3rd, 2015

Better together: Graphene-nanotube hybrid switches August 3rd, 2015

Vaccine with virus-like nanoparticles effective treatment for RSV, study finds August 3rd, 2015

MIPT researchers clear the way for fast plasmonic chips August 3rd, 2015

Announcements

Quantum states in a nano-object manipulated using a mechanical system August 3rd, 2015

Nanoparticles used to breach mucus barrier in lungs: Proof-of-concept study conducted in mice a key step toward better treatments for lung diseases August 3rd, 2015

Promising Step Taken in Iran towards Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury August 3rd, 2015

Diagnosis of Salmonella Bacterium-Caused Food Poisoning by Biosensors August 3rd, 2015

Tools

University of Puerto Rico announces August 11th as the launch date for their NASA mission to look for life in space – XEI reports August 3rd, 2015

Thin films offer promise for ferroelectric devices: Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology demystify the ferroelectric properties observed in hafnium-oxide-based thin films, revealing a potentially useful device material August 3rd, 2015

Heating and cooling with light leads to ultrafast DNA diagnostics July 31st, 2015

Take a trip through the brain July 30th, 2015

Research partnerships

University of Puerto Rico announces August 11th as the launch date for their NASA mission to look for life in space – XEI reports August 3rd, 2015

Newly-Developed Polymers Control Size of Nanoparticles during Production Process July 30th, 2015

Meet the high-performance single-molecule diode: Major milestone in molecular electronics scored by Berkeley Lab and Columbia University team July 29th, 2015

Spintronics: Molecules stabilizing magnetism: Organic molecules fixing the magnetic orientation of a cobalt surface/ building block for a compact and low-cost storage technology/ publication in Nature Materials July 25th, 2015

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