Immunology paper on porcine intestinal organoids

5 Jan 2022

This paper concerns only porcine small intestinal organoids as a model to explore ETEC–host interactions in the gut. However bovine and chicken enteroids can also be developed by our researchers.

Small intestinal organoids, or enteroids, represent a valuable model to study host–pathogen interactions at the intestinal epithelial surface. Much research has been done on murine and human enteroids, however only a handful studies evaluated the development of enteroids in other species.

Porcine enteroid cultures have been described, but little is known about their functional responses to specific pathogens or their associated virulence factors.

Here, we report that porcine enteroids respond in a similar manner as in vivo gut tissues to enterotoxins derived from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, an enteric pathogen causing postweaning diarrhoea in piglets. Upon enterotoxin stimulation, these enteroids not only display a dysregulated electrolyte and water balance as shown by their swelling, but also secrete inflammation markers. Porcine enteroids grown as a 2D-monolayer supported the adhesion of an F4 + ETEC strain.

Hence, these enteroids closely mimic in vivo intestinal epithelial responses to gut pathogens and are a promising model to study host–pathogen interactions in the pig gut. Insights obtained with this model might accelerate the design of veterinary therapeutics aimed at improving gut health.