Microbiome & Host Response Core

Mission Statement:
To provide clients with a prompt and efficient service to determine how the gut microbiota is contributing to the observed metabolic or gut phenotype.

Core Description:
The gut is the first site of interaction between ingested nutrients and the host, and plays an important role in the regulation of metabolic homeostasis. The products of digestion provide the stimuli for release of hormones and activation of neural pathways crucial to integrate postprandial gut function, food intake and whole body metabolic function. In addition, there is a growing appreciation of the role of the gut microbial populations in health and disease, especially in metabolic disease and obesity. Thus, determination of gut microbiota and gut function is an important component of metabolic phenotyping.   

The Microbiome & Host Response Core offers methods to survey the important bacterial taxa:
•   Metagenomics, especially 16S variable region amplicon sequencing, data analysis and interpretation
•   Multi-variate analysis
•   Metabolomic approaches to assess microbial function by measuring levels of microbial metabolites.

Priorities of the core include reproducibility and reliability; sample preparation, storage, and handling of small sample volumes; gut region and/or time-dependent differences.

The Microbiome & Host Response Core offers methods to determine gut function in metabolic phenotypes:
•   Measurement of gut permeability (Gut permeability: in vivo, ex vivo Ussing chambers and immunohistochemistry and/or expression of tight junction proteins)
•   Plasma lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP) assay
•   Inflammatory profiling

Other services are offered on a custom basis including measurement of gut transit time, gastric emptying and activity in the gut-brain axis. Future services include transcriptomics of the luminal microbiota and gut tissue of the host.