Green fluorescent protein for detection of the probiotic microorganism Escherichia coli strain Nissle 1917 (EcN) in vivo

ArticleinJournal of Microbiological Methods 61(3):389-98 · July 2005with21 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.mimet.2005.01.007 · Source: PubMed
Probiotic microorganisms are defined as viable nutritional agents conferring benefit to the health of the human host. Especially, Escherichia coli strain Nissle 1917 (EcN) was shown to be equally effective as mesalazine in the maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis (UC). Presumably, the therapeutic effect of EcN is linked to the presence of the strain in the region of interest; however, it remains difficult to follow the orally administered strain on its passage through the complex microbial environment of the intestine in vivo, inhabited dominantly by various E. coli strains, using traditional culturing methods. In this study we transformed EcN and a wild-type E. coli from a laboratory rat (EcR) with a plasmid carrying a gfp gene (pUC-gfp) to obtain EcN- and EcR-GFP to allow in vivo detection without alteration of strain-specific characteristics. Analysis of different strain-specific characteristics included the measurement of stimulation of IL-8 secretion and adhesion in vitro using the epithelial cell line HT-29. The kinetics of intestinal distribution in mice and colonization properties in rats following oral administration was studied in vivo. Detectability of the strain in histologic specimens was analysed using fluorescence microscopy and immunohistochemistry. The identity of fluorescent E. coli strains isolated from stool samples, Peyer's patches (PP) and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) was determined by REP-PCR. We were able to demonstrate that EcN and EcN-GFP do not differ in stimulation of IL-8 secretion or adhesion to HT-29 cells. In vivo, EcN-GFP colonies were readily detectable by fluorescence microscopy in luminal samples and also by immunohistochemistry in histological sections allowing analysis of the kinetics of the intestinal passage following oral administration. Translocation of fluorescent and non-fluorescent bacteria into PP and MLN was noted at 6 h post oral administration. EcN-GFP was detectable initially for 14 days in faecal samples of rats, while EcR-GFP was detectable throughout the whole experiment (45 days). Challenge with ampicillin at day 45 demonstrated continuing presence of EcN-GFP in small numbers by reappearing fluorescent colonies. The plasmid was not stable in vivo since non-fluorescent EcN colonies were detected also in faecal samples by REP-PCR. In summary, transformation of EcN to obtain EcN-GFP in our study had no detectable influence on the probiotic microorganism regarding adhesion on and induction of IL-8 secretion of HT-29 cells and allows the detection in mixed microbial environments in vivo but the stability of EcN-GFP in vivo is limited.
    • "Despite the fact that the loss of the plasmid almost triples in the absence of antibiotics in vitro, the percentage of remaining cells that display a strong fluorescent signal is still very high (approximately 94%). While there are numerous tools and methodologies for fluorescent labeling of bacteria, and especially pathogens, during animal experiments (for example (Schultz et al., 2005; Zhao et al., 2001)) and while the pUltra plasmids were not developed specifically for in vivo labeling, their in vitro stability is promising enough in order for these constructs to be considered for experiments requiring in vivo labeling. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fluorescent labeling has been an invaluable tool for the study of living organisms and bacterial species are no exception to this. Here we present and characterize the pUltra plasmids which express constitutively a fluorescent protein gene (GFP, RFP, YFP or CFP) from a strong synthetic promoter and are suitable for the fluorescent labeling of a broad range of Enterobacteria. The amount of expressed fluorophore from these genetic constructs is such, that the contours of the cells can be delineated on the basis of the fluorescent signal only. In addition, labeling through the pUltra plasmids can be used successfully for fluorescence and confocal microscopy while unambiguous distinction of cells labeled with different colors can be carried out efficiently by microscopy or flow cytometry. We compare the labeling provided by the pUltra plasmids with that of another plasmid series encoding fluorescent proteins and we show that the pUltra constructs are vastly superior in signal intensity and discrimination power without having any detectable growth rate effects for the bacterial population. We also use the pUltra plasmids to produce mixtures of differentially labeled pathogenic Escherichia, Shigella and Salmonella species which we test during infection of mammalian cells. We find that even inside the host cell, different strains can be distinguished effortlessly based on their fluorescence. We, therefore, conclude that the pUltra plasmids are a powerful labeling tool especially useful for complex biological experiments such as the visualization of ecosystems of different bacterial species or of enteric pathogens in contact with their hosts.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2016
    • "After 24 h, the plates were inspected under UV light for the fluorescence. As soon as the reduction of fluorescent colonies of fecal samples was noted, rats were given ampicillin (50 mg/kg body weight) (days 23–25 and days 48–51) in drinking water [16, 26]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study describes the beneficial effects of potential probiotic E. coli 16 (pUC8:16gfp) expressing Vitreoscilla hemoglobin (vgb) gene, associated with bacterial respiration under microaerobic condition, on gastrointestinal (GI) colonization and its antioxidant activity on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced toxicity in Charles Foster rats. In vitro, catalase activity in E. coli 16 (pUC8:16gfp) was 1.8 times higher compared to E. coli 16 (pUC-gfp) control. In vivo, E. coli 16 (pUC8:16gfp) not only was recovered in the fecal matter after 70 days of oral administration but also retained antibacterial activities, whereas E. coli 16 (pUC-gfp) was not detected. Oral administration of 200 and 500 μL/kg body weight of CCl4 to rats at weekly interval resulted in elevated serum glutamyl pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) and serum glutamyl oxalacetate transaminase (SGOT) levels compared to controls. Rats prefed with E. coli 16 (pUC8:16gfp) demonstrated near to normal levels for SGPT and SGOT, whereas the liver homogenate catalase activity was significantly increased compared to CCl4 treated rats. Thus, pUC8:16gfp plasmid encoding vgb improved the growth and GI tract colonization of E. coli 16. In addition, it also enhanced catalase activity in rats harboring E. coli 16 (pUC8:16gfp), thereby preventing the absorption of CCl4 to GI tract.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014
    • "It can be applied as a useful vehicle in expression of molecular therapy in intestinal epithelium [7]. EcN can survive in the gastrointestinal system after orally use and it is propagated in the gut and can be colonized in the intestinal environment for long-term periods [8]. The genetic "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regarding to the high prevalence and comorbidities of chronic high blood glucose in diabetic patients and the limited efficacy and current painful treatments. It is necessary to improve new treatments that are non-invasive and long-term for controlling blood glucose. Recent studies have shown that the healthy microflora in different body organs can perform as the gene vectors for expressing different types of gene therapies in situ. We have proposed that by constructing a recombinant Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 that expresses CTB-IGF-1 hybrid gene under control of ompC glucose sensitive promoter, the intestinal glucose level can be regulated. This method in comparison with other methods is a non-invasive way to control the blood glucose orally and it can be used for all types of diabetes.
    Article · Sep 2013
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