Spatial Compartmentalization of the Microbiome between the Lumen and Crypts Is Lost in the Murine Cecum following the Process of Surgery, Including Overnight Fasting and Exposure to Antibiotics.
<p>The cecum is a unique region in the mammalian intestinal tract in which the microbiome is localized to two compartments, the lumen and the crypts. The microbiome within crypts is particularly important as it is in direct contact with lining epithelial cells including stem cells. Here, we analyzed the microbiome in cecum of mice using multiple techniques including metagenomics. The lumen microbiome comprised and whereas the crypts were dominated by and , and the mucus comprised a mixture of these 4 phyla. The lumen microbial functional potential comprised mainly carbon metabolism, while the crypt microbiome was enriched for genes encoding stress resistance. In order to determine how this structure, assembly, and function are altered under provocative conditions, we exposed mice to overnight starvation (S), antibiotics (A), and a major surgical injury (partial hepatectomy [H]), as occurs with major surgery in humans. We have previously demonstrated that the combined effect of this "SAH" treatment leads to a major disturbance of the cecal microbiota at the bottom of crypts in a manner that disrupts crypt cell homeostasis. Here, we applied the SAH conditions and observed a loss of compartmentalization in both composition and function of the cecal microbiome associated with major shifts in local physicochemical cues including decrease of hypoxia, increase of pH, and loss of butyrate production. Taken together, these studies demonstrated a defined order, structure, and function of the cecal microbiome that can be disrupted under provocative conditions such as major surgery and its attendant exposures. The proximal colon and cecum are two intestinal regions in which the microbiome localizes to two spatially distinct compartments, the lumen and crypts. The differences in composition and function of luminal and crypt microbiome in the cecum and the effect of physiological stress on their compartmentalization remain poorly characterized. Here, we characterized the composition and function of the lumen-, mucus-, and crypt-associated microbiome in the cecum of mice. We observed a highly ordered microbial architecture within the cecum whose assembly and function become markedly disrupted when provoked by physiological stress such as surgery and its attendant preoperative treatments (i.e., overnight fasting and antibiotics). Major shifts in local physicochemical cues including a decrease in hypoxia levels, an increase in pH, and a loss of butyrate production were associated with the loss of compositional and functional compartmentalization of the cecal microbiome.</p>