An altered immune response and gut microbiota have been associated with the pathology of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). However, there is limited knowledge of how inflammation is associated with changes in the microbiota. We studied the microbiota in the intestine and faeces as well as the cytokine gene expressions in caecum and colon of a mouse model (Gαi2−/−) of colitis, and analysed them in relation to the degrees of inflammation in the colon. The degree of colitis was associated with general changes in the complexity of the microbiota and was corroborated by quantitative analyses of the Bacteroides and Lactobacillus. High gene expression levels of IL-17 and IFN-γ in colon and caecum were detected in Gαi2−/− mice with moderate and severe colitis. High IL-27 gene expression in the colon of mice with moderate and severe colitis and in the caecum of mice with moderate colitis was also detected. Negative correlations between IL-27 and Bacteroides and Lactobacillus and between IFN-γ and Lactobacillus were detected in caecum. This research indicates that the degree of colitis in IBD correlates with the gene expression of cytokines and with disturbances in the gut microbiota. Furthermore, the caecum could have an important role in the pathology of IBD.
One sentence summary: Gut microbiota and colitis in inflammatory bowel disease.