Alternative stable states in the intestinal ecosystem: proof of concept in a rat model and a perspective of therapeutic implications - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Microbiome Year : 2020

Alternative stable states in the intestinal ecosystem: proof of concept in a rat model and a perspective of therapeutic implications

Abstract

Background: Chronic immune-mediated diseases are rapidly expanding and notoriously difficult to cure. Altered relatively stable intestinal microbiota configurations are associated with several of these diseases, and with a possible predisease condition (more susceptible to disease development) of the host-microbiota ecosystem. These observations are reminiscent of the behavior of an ecosystem with alternative stable states (different stable configurations that can exist under identical external conditions), and we recently postulated that health, pre-disease and disease represent such alternative states. Here, our aim was to examine if alternative stable states indeed exist in the intestinal ecosystem. Results: Rats were exposed to varying concentrations of DSS in order to create a wide range of mildly inflammatory conditions, in a context of diet-induced low microbiota diversity. The consequences for the intestinal microbiota were traced by 16S rRNA gene profiling over time, and inflammation of the distal colon was evaluated at sacrifice, 45 days after the last DSS treatment. The results provide the first formal experimental proof for the existence of alternative stable states in the rat intestinal ecosystem, taking both microbiota and host inflammatory status into consideration. The alternative states are host-microbiota ecosystem states rather than independent and dissociated microbiota and host states, and inflammation can prompt stable state-transition. Based on these results, we propose a conceptual model providing new insights in the interplay between host inflammatory status and microbiota status. These new insights call for innovative therapeutic strategies to cure (pre-)disease. Conclusions: We provide proof of concept showing the existence of alternative stable states in the rat intestinal ecosystem. We further propose a model which, if validated in humans, will support innovative diagnosis, therapeutic strategy, and monitoring in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions. This model provides a strong rationale for the application of combinatorial therapeutic strategies, targeting host and microbiota rather than only one of the two in chronic immune-mediated diseases.
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Dates and versions

hal-03634946 , version 1 (08-04-2022)

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Maarten van de Guchte, Sebastian D Burz, Julie Cadiou, Jiangbo Wu, Stanislas Mondot, et al.. Alternative stable states in the intestinal ecosystem: proof of concept in a rat model and a perspective of therapeutic implications. Microbiome, 2020, 8 (1), pp.153. ⟨10.1186/s40168-020-00933-7⟩. ⟨hal-03634946⟩
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