Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
New interface
Journal articles

A child is not an adult: development of a new in vitro model of the toddler colon

Abstract : Early life is a critical period where gut ecosystem and functions are being established with significant impact on health. For regulatory, technical, and cost reasons, in vitro gut models can be used as a relevant alternative to in vivo assays. An exhaustive literature review was conducted to adapt the Mucosal Artificial Colon (M-ARCOL) to specific physicochemical (pH, transit time, and nutritional composition of ileal effluents) and microbial parameters from toddlers in the age range of 6 months-3 years, resulting in the Tm-ARCOL. In vitro fermentations were performed to validate this newly developed colonic model compared to in vivo toddler data. Results were also compared to those obtained with the classical adult configuration. Fecal samples from 5 toddlers and 4 adults were used to inoculate bioreactors, and continuous fermentations were performed for 8 days. Gut microbiota structure (lumen and mucus-associated microbiota) and functions (gas and short-chain fatty acids) were monitored. Clearly distinct microbial signatures were obtained between the two in vitro conditions, with lower α-diversity indices and higher abundances of infant-related microbial populations (e.g., Bifidobacteriaceae, Enterobacteriaceae) in toddler versus adult conditions. In accordance with in vivo data, methane was found only in adult bioreactors, while higher percentage of acetate but lower proportions of propionate and butyrate was measured in toddlers compared to adults. This new in vitro model will provide a powerful platform for gut microbiome mechanistic studies in a pediatric context, both in nutritional- (e.g., nutrients, probiotics, prebiotics) and health-related (e.g., drugs, enteric pathogens) studies. KEY POINTS: • Development of a novel in vitro colonic model recapitulating the toddler environment. • Specific toddler versus adult digestive conditions are preserved in vitro. • The new model provides a powerful platform for microbiome mechanistic studies.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Hélène LESUR Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 9:14:20 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 4:44:42 PM


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License



Elora Fournier, Sylvain Denis, Alessandra Dominicis, Tom van de Wiele, Monique Alric, et al.. A child is not an adult: development of a new in vitro model of the toddler colon. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2022, 106 (21), pp.7315-7336. ⟨10.1007/s00253-022-12199-0⟩. ⟨hal-03811641⟩



Record views