Factors affecting the intestinal microbiome homeostasis
Human gut hosts a large microbial community that plays a critical role in immune maturation, energy biogenesis and synthesis of vitamins besides numerous other functions. The advent of high throughput sequencing has highlighted the link between alterations in microbiome composition and development of several complex disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), diabetes and several cancers. Although several reports have linked dysbiosis of gut bacteria with the etiology of diseases, their actual roles and association with risk genes are still debated. Hence, longitudinal analysis of the microbiome composition under disease mimicking and genetically susceptible conditions could help decipher the underlying mechanisms. This would also help in understanding the functional activities of the microbial component that ultimately affects host physiology and inflammatory response. The study design included: 1) analysis of human inflamed and non-inflamed appendicitis samples for identifying variations in the intestinal microbiota compositions; 2) Microbiota variations during antibiotic mediated dysbiotic event in control and Atg16l1 intestinal knock down (Atg16l1ΔIEC) mice models; 3) Microbial and functional variations during pregnancy in control and Atg16l1ΔIEC mice models. The work highlights gene-microbiome crosstalk with emphasis on Atg16l1 and its role in maintaining correct and healthy microbiota that functionally regulate metabolic pathways and inflammatory responses in the body.