Browsing by Subject "Akkermansia muciniphila"

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  • Kostopoulos, Ioannis; Aalvink, Steven; Kovatcheva-Datchary, Petia; Nijsse, Bart; Backhed, Fredrik; Knol, Jan; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2021)
    The human gastrointestinal tract is colonized by a diverse microbial community, which plays a crucial role in human health. In the gut, a protective mucus layer that consists of glycan structures separates the bacteria from the host epithelial cells. These host-derived glycans are utilized by bacteria that have adapted to this specific compound in the gastrointestinal tract. Our study investigated the close interaction between two distinct gut microbiota members known to use mucus glycans, the generalist Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron and the specialist Akkermansia muciniphila in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro study, in which mucin was the only nutrient source, indicated that B. thetaiotaomicron significantly upregulated genes coding for Glycoside Hydrolases (GHs) and mucin degradation activity when cultured in the presence of A. muciniphila. Furthermore, B. thetaiotaomicron significantly upregulated the expression of a gene encoding for membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) domain in co-culture. The transcriptome analysis also indicated that A. muciniphila was less affected by the environmental changes and was able to sustain its abundance in the presence of B. thetaiotaomicron while increasing the expression of LPS core biosynthesis activity encoding genes (O-antigen ligase, Lipid A and Glycosyl transferases) as well as ABC transporters. Using germ-free mice colonized with B. thetaiotaomicron and/or A. muciniphila, we observed a more general glycan degrading profile in B. thetaiotaomicron while the expression profile of A. muciniphila was not significantly affected when colonizing together, indicating that two different nutritional niches were established in mice gut. Thus, our results indicate that a mucin degrading generalist adapts to its changing environment, depending on available carbohydrates while a mucin degrading specialist adapts by coping with competing microorganism through upregulation of defense related genes.
  • Ottman, Noora; Geerlings, Sharon Y.; Aalvink, Steven; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2017)
    The discovery of Akkermansia muciniphila has opened new avenues for the use of this abundant intestinal symbiont in next generation therapeutic products, as well as targeting microbiota dynamics. A. muciniphila is known to colonize the mucosal layer of the human intestine where it triggers both host metabolic and immune responses. A. muciniphila is particularly effective in increasing mucus thickness and increasing gut barrier function. As a result host metabolic markers ameliorate. The mechanism of host regulation is thought to involve the outer membrane composition, including the type IV pili of A. muciniphila, that directly signal to host immune receptors. At the same time the metabolic activity of A. muciniphila leads to the production of short chain fatty acids that are beneficial to the host and microbiota members. This contributes to host-microbiota and microbe-microbe syntrophy The mucolytic activity and metabolite production make A. muciniphila a key species in the mucus layer, stimulating beneficial mucosal microbial networks. This well studied member of the microbiota has been studied in three aspects that will be further described in this review: i) A. muciniphila characteristics and mucin adaptation, ii) its role as key species in the mucosal microbiome, and iii) its role in host health. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • van der Lugt, Benthe; van Beek, Adriaan A.; Aalvink, Steven; Meijer, Ben; Sovran, Bruno; Vermeij, Wilbert P.; Brandt, Renata M. C.; de Vos, Willem M.; Savelkoul, Huub F. J.; Steegenga, Wilma T.; Belzer, Clara (2019)
    BackgroundThe use of Akkermansia muciniphila as potential therapeutic intervention is receiving increasing attention. Health benefits attributed to this bacterium include an improvement of metabolic disorders and exerting anti-inflammatory effects. The abundance of A. muciniphila is associated with a healthy gut in early mid- and later life. However, the effects of A. muciniphila on a decline in intestinal health during the aging process are not investigated yet. We supplemented accelerated aging Ercc1(-/7) mice with A. muciniphila for 10weeks and investigated histological, transcriptional and immunological aspects of intestinal health.ResultsThe thickness of the colonic mucus layer increased about 3-fold after long-term A. muciniphila supplementation and was even significantly thicker compared to mice supplemented with Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1. Colonic gene expression profiles pointed towards a decreased expression of genes and pathways related to inflammation and immune function, and suggested a decreased presence of B cells in colon. Total B cell frequencies in spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes were not altered after A. muciniphila supplementation. Mature and immature B cell frequencies in bone marrow were increased, whereas B cell precursors were unaffected. These findings implicate that B cell migration rather than production was affected by A. muciniphila supplementation. Gene expression profiles in ileum pointed toward a decrease in metabolic- and immune-related processes and antimicrobial peptide production after A. muciniphila supplementation. Besides, A. muciniphila decreased the frequency of activated CD80(+)CD273(-) B cells in Peyer's patches. Additionally, the increased numbers of peritoneal resident macrophages and a decrease in Ly6C(int) monocyte frequencies in spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes add evidence for the potentially anti-inflammatory properties of A. muciniphila.ConclusionsAltogether, we show that supplementation with A. muciniphila prevented the age-related decline in thickness of the colonic mucus layer and attenuated inflammation and immune-related processes at old age. This study implies that A. muciniphila supplementation can contribute to a promotion of healthy aging.
  • van der Lugt, Benthe; van Beek, Adriaan A; Aalvink, Steven; Meijer, Ben; Sovran, Bruno; Vermeij, Wilbert P; Brandt, Renata M C; de Vos, Willem M.; Savelkoul, Huub F J; Steegenga, Wilma T; Belzer, Clara (BioMed Central, 2019)
    Abstract Background The use of Akkermansia muciniphila as potential therapeutic intervention is receiving increasing attention. Health benefits attributed to this bacterium include an improvement of metabolic disorders and exerting anti-inflammatory effects. The abundance of A. muciniphila is associated with a healthy gut in early mid- and later life. However, the effects of A. muciniphila on a decline in intestinal health during the aging process are not investigated yet. We supplemented accelerated aging Ercc1−/Δ7 mice with A. muciniphila for 10 weeks and investigated histological, transcriptional and immunological aspects of intestinal health. Results The thickness of the colonic mucus layer increased about 3-fold after long-term A. muciniphila supplementation and was even significantly thicker compared to mice supplemented with Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1. Colonic gene expression profiles pointed towards a decreased expression of genes and pathways related to inflammation and immune function, and suggested a decreased presence of B cells in colon. Total B cell frequencies in spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes were not altered after A. muciniphila supplementation. Mature and immature B cell frequencies in bone marrow were increased, whereas B cell precursors were unaffected. These findings implicate that B cell migration rather than production was affected by A. muciniphila supplementation. Gene expression profiles in ileum pointed toward a decrease in metabolic- and immune-related processes and antimicrobial peptide production after A. muciniphila supplementation. Besides, A. muciniphila decreased the frequency of activated CD80+CD273− B cells in Peyer’s patches. Additionally, the increased numbers of peritoneal resident macrophages and a decrease in Ly6Cint monocyte frequencies in spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes add evidence for the potentially anti-inflammatory properties of A. muciniphila. Conclusions Altogether, we show that supplementation with A. muciniphila prevented the age-related decline in thickness of the colonic mucus layer and attenuated inflammation and immune-related processes at old age. This study implies that A. muciniphila supplementation can contribute to a promotion of healthy aging.
  • Derrien, Muriel; Belzer, Clara; de Vos, Willem M. (2017)
    Akkermansia muciniphila is an intestinal bacterium that was isolated a decade ago from a human fecal sample. Its specialization in mucin degradation makes it a key organism at the mucosal interface between the lumen and host cells. Although it was isolated quite recently, it has rapidly raised significant interest as A. muciniphila is the only cultivated intestinal representative of the Verrucomicrobia, one of the few phyla in the human gut that can be easily detected in phylogenetic and metagenome analyses. There has also been a growing interest in A. muciniphila, due to its association with health in animals and humans. Notably, reduced levels of A. muciniphila have been observed in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (mainly ulcerative colitis) and metabolic disorders, which suggests it may have potential anti-inflammatory properties. The aims of this review are to summarize the existing data on the intestinal distribution of A. muciniphila in health and disease, to provide insight into its ecology and its role in founding microbial networks at the mucosal interface, as well as to discuss recent research on its role in regulating host functions that are disturbed in various diseases, with a specific focus on metabolic disorders in both animals and humans. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Geerlings, Sharon Y.; Kostopoulos, Ioannis; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2018)
    Akkermansia muciniphila is a mucin-degrading bacterium of the phylum Verrucomicrobia. Its abundance in the human intestinal tract is inversely correlated to several disease states. A. muciniphila resides in the mucus layer of the large intestine, where it is involved in maintaining intestinal integrity. We explore the presence of Akkermansia-like spp. based on its 16S rRNA sequence and metagenomic signatures in the human body so as to understand its colonization pattern in time and space. A. muciniphila signatures were detected in colonic samples as early as a few weeks after birth and likely could be maintained throughout life. The sites where Akkermansia-like sequences (including Verrucomicrobia phylum and/or Akkermansia spp. sequences found in the literature) were detected apart from the colon included human milk, the oral cavity, the pancreas, the biliary system, the small intestine, and the appendix. The function of Akkermansia-like spp. in these sites may differ from that in the mucosal layer of the colon. A. muciniphila present in the appendix or in human milk could play a role in the re-colonization of the colon or breast-fed infants, respectively. In conclusion, even though A. muciniphila is most abundantly present in the colon, the presence of Akkermansia-like spp. along the digestive tract indicates that this bacterium might have more functions than those currently known.
  • Ottman, Noora; Huuskonen, Laura; Reunanen, Justus; Boeren, Sjef; Klievink, Judith; Smidt, Hauke; Belzer, Clara; de Vos, Willem M. (2016)
    Akkermansia muciniphila is a common member of the human gut microbiota and belongs to the Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae superphylum. Decreased levels of A. muciniphila have been associated with many diseases, and thus it is considered to be a beneficial resident of the intestinal mucus layer. Surface-exposed molecules produced by this organism likely play important roles in colonization and communication with other microbes and the host, but the protein composition of the outer membrane (OM) has not been characterized thus far. Herein we set out to identify and characterize A. muciniphila proteins using an integrated approach of proteomics and computational analysis. Sarkosyl extraction and sucrose density-gradient centrifugation methods were used to enrich and fractionate the OM proteome of A. muciniphila. Proteins from these fractions were identified by LC-MS/MS and candidates for OM proteins derived from the experimental approach were subjected to computational screening to verify their location in the cell. In total we identified 79 putative OM and membrane-associated extracellular proteins, and 23 of those were found to differ in abundance between cells of A. muciniphila grown on the natural substrate, mucin, and those grown on the non-mucus sugar, glucose. The identified OM proteins included highly abundant proteins involved in secretion and transport, as well as proteins predicted to take part in formation of the pili-like structures observed in A. muciniphila. The most abundant OM protein was a 95-kD protein, termed PilQ, annotated as a type IV pili secretin and predicted to be involved in the production of pili in A. muciniphila. To verify its location we purified the His-Tag labeled N-terminal domain of PilQ and generated rabbit polyclonal antibodies. Immunoelectron microscopy of thin sections immunolabeled with these antibodies demonstrated the OM localization of PilQ, testifying for its predicted function as a type IV pili secretin in A. muciniphila. As pili structures are known to be involved in the modulation of host immune responses, this provides support for the involvement of OM proteins in the host interaction of A. muciniphila. In conclusion, the characterization of A. muciniphila OM proteome provides valuable information that can be used for further functional and immunological studies.
  • van der Ark, Kees C. H.; Nugroho, Avis Dwi Wahyu; Berton-Carabin, Claire; Wang, Che; Belzer, Clara; de Vos, Willem M.; Schroen, Karin (2017)
    There is considerable attention for developing Akkermansia muciniphila as a new therapeutic microbe since it has shown to prevent diet-induced obesity and type 2 diabetes in mice. However, A. muciniphila is sensitive to gastric conditions such as low pH and oxygen. Therefore, we explored the possibility of encapsulating A. muciniphila in a water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) double emulsion, to allow for protection during gastric passage and subsequent release in the small intestine. The bacteria were efficiently encapsulated in the inner emulsion droplets and remained entrapped during in vitro gastric digestion. The cells were then released in the simulated intestinal phase of the in vitro system. The viability of encapsulated cells was found to be higher when compared to cells dispersed in buffer, that had been subjected to similar mechanical process as the one conducted to prepare the emulsion systems. Surprisingly, the viability of the processed cells was even higher than that of the cells dispersed in buffer without processing, likely due to shear-induced stress tolerance. To conclude, encapsulation in a double emulsion seems to be a. promising strategy to protect A. muciniphila during gastric passage in oral formulations.
  • Cani, Patrice D.; de Vos, Willem M. (2017)
    Metabolic disorders associated with obesity and cardiometabolic disorders are worldwide epidemic. Among the different environmental factors, the gut microbiota is now considered as a key player interfering with energy metabolism and host susceptibility to several non-communicable diseases. Among the next-generation beneficial microbes that have been identified, Akkermansia muciniphila is a promising candidate. Indeed, A. muciniphila is inversely associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiometabolic diseases and low-grade inflammation. Besides the numerous correlations observed, a large body of evidence has demonstrated the causal beneficial impact of this bacterium in a variety of preclinical models. Translating these exciting observations to human would be the next logic step and it now appears that several obstacles that would prevent the use of A. muciniphila administration in humans have been overcome. Moreover, several lines of evidence indicate that pasteurization of A. muciniphila not only increases its stability but more importantly increases its efficacy. This strongly positions A. muciniphila in the forefront of next-generation candidates for developing novel food or pharma supplements with beneficial effects. Finally, a specific protein present on the outer membrane of A. muciniphila, termed Amuc_1100, could be strong candidate for future drug development. In conclusion, as plants and its related knowledge, known as pharmacognosy, have been the source for designing drugs over the last century, we propose that microbes and microbiomegnosy, or knowledge of our gut microbiome, can become a novel source of future therapies.
  • Depommier, Clara; Van Hul, Matthias; Everard, Amandine; Delzenne, Nathalie M.; De Vos, Willem M.; Cani, Patrice D. (2020)
    Accumulating evidence points to Akkermansia muciniphila as a novel candidate to prevent or treat obesity-related metabolic disorders. We recently observed, in mice and in humans, that pasteurization of A. muciniphila increases its beneficial effects on metabolism. However, it is currently unknown if the observed beneficial effects on body weight and fat mass gain are due to specific changes in energy expenditure. Therefore, we investigated the effects of pasteurized A. muciniphila on whole-body energy metabolism during high-fat diet feeding by using metabolic chambers. We confirmed that daily oral administration of pasteurized A. muciniphila alleviated diet-induced obesity and decreased food energy efficiency. We found that this effect was associated with an increase in energy expenditure and spontaneous physical activity. Strikingly, we discovered that energy expenditure was enhanced independently from changes in markers of thermogenesis or beiging of the white adipose tissue. However, we found in brown and white adipose tissues that perilipin2, a factor associated with lipid droplet and known to be altered in obesity, was decreased in expression by pasteurized A. muciniphila. Finally, we observed that treatment with pasteurized A. muciniphila increased energy excretion in the feces. Interestingly, we demonstrated that this effect was not due to the modulation of intestinal lipid absorption or chylomicron synthesis but likely involved a reduction of carbohydrates absorption and enhanced intestinal epithelial turnover. In conclusion, this study further dissects the mechanisms by which pasteurized A. muciniphila reduces body weight and fat mass gain. These data also further support the impact of targeting the gut microbiota by using specific bacteria to control whole-body energy metabolism.
  • Brodmann, Theodor; Endo, Akihito; Gueimonde, Miguel; Vinderola, Gabriel; Kneifel, Wolfgang; de Vos, Willem M.; Salminen, Seppo; Gomez-Gallego, Carlos (2017)
    Novel microbes are either newly isolated genera and species from natural sources or bacterial strains derived from existing bacteria. Novel microbes are gaining increasing attention for the general aims to preserve and modify foods and to modulate gut microbiota. The use of novel microbes to improve health outcomes is of particular interest because growing evidence points to the importance of gut microbiota in human health. As well, some recently isolated microorganisms have promise for use as probiotics, although in-depth assessment of their safety is necessary. Recent examples of microorganisms calling for more detailed evaluation include Bacteroides xylanisolvens, Akkermansia muciniphila, fructophilic lactic acid bacteria (FLAB), and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. This paper discusses each candidate's safety evaluation for novel food or novel food ingredient approval according to European Union (EU) regulations. The factors evaluated include their beneficial properties, antibiotic resistance profiling, history of safe use (if available), publication of the genomic sequence, toxicological studies in agreement with novel food regulations, and the qualified presumptions of safety. Sufficient evidences have made possible to support and authorize the use of heat-inactivated B. xylanisolvens in the European Union. In the case of A. muciniphila, the discussion focuses on earlier safety studies and the strain's suitability. FLAB are also subjected to standard safety assessments, which, along with their proximity to lactic acid bacteria generally considered to be safe, may lead to novel food authorization in the future. Further research with F. prausnitzii will increase knowledge about its safety and probiotic properties and may lead to its future use as novel food. Upcoming changes in EUU Regulation 2015/2283 on novel food will facilitate the authorization of future novel products and might increase the presence of novel microbes in the food market.
  • EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA); Turck, Dominique; Heinonen, Marina (2021)
    Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on pasteurised Akkermansia muciniphila as a novel food (NF) pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. A. muciniphila is a well-characterised non-toxin producing, avirulent microorganism that has been reported as part of normal gut microbiota. The NF, pasteurised A. muciniphila, is proposed by the applicant to be used as a food supplement at max. 5 x 10(10) cells/day by adults excluding pregnant and lactating women, and in foods for special medical purposes. The Panel considers that the production process of the NF is sufficiently described and that the information provided on the composition of the NF is sufficient for its characterisation. Taking into account the composition of the NF and the proposed conditions of use, the consumption of the NF is not nutritionally disadvantageous. Based on literature data, and by applying an uncertainty factor of 200 to the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of a 90-day repeated dose oral toxicity study in rats, the Panel concludes that the consumption of 3.4 x 10(10) cells/day is safe for the target population under the provision that the number of viable cells in the NF is < 10 colony forming units (CFU)/g (i.e. limit of detection). (C) 2021 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.
  • Druart, Celine; Plovier, Hubert; Van Hul, Matthias; Brient, Alizee; Phipps, Kirt R.; Vos, Willem M.; Cani, Patrice D. (2021)
    Gut microorganisms are vital for many aspects of human health, and the commensal bacteriumAkkermansia muciniphilahas repeatedly been identified as a key component of intestinal microbiota. Reductions inA. muciniphilaabundance are associated with increased prevalence of metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. It was recently discovered that administration ofA. muciniphilahas beneficial effects and that these are not diminished, but rather enhanced after pasteurization. PasteurizedA. muciniphilais proposed for use as a food ingredient, and was therefore subjected to a nonclinical safety assessment, comprising genotoxicity assays (bacterial reverse mutation and in vitro mammalian cell micronucleus tests) and a 90-day toxicity study. For the latter, Han Wistar rats were administered with the vehicle or pasteurizedA. muciniphilaat doses of 75, 375 or 1500 mg/kg body weight/day (equivalent to 4.8 x 10(9), 2.4 x 10(10), or 9.6 x 10(10)A. muciniphilacells/kg body weight/day) by oral gavage for 90 consecutive days. The study assessed potential effects on clinical observations (including detailed arena observations and a modified Irwin test), body weight, food and water consumption, clinical pathology, organ weights, and macroscopic and microscopic pathology. The results of both in vitro genotoxicity studies were negative. No test item-related adverse effects were observed in the 90-day study; therefore, 1500 mg/kg body weight/day (the highest dose tested, equivalent to 9.6 x 10(10)A. muciniphilacells/kg body weight/day) was established as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level. These results support that pasteurizedA. muciniphilais safe for use as a food ingredient.