Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Effects of parity and litter size on cortisol measures in commercially housed sows and their offspring
Roelofs, Sanne ; Godding, Lisa ; Haan, Jeanne R. de; Staay, Franz Josef van der; Nordquist, Rebecca E. - \ 2019
Physiology and Behavior 201 (2019). - ISSN 0031-9384 - p. 83 - 90.
Birth weight - Hair cortisol - Pigs - Salivary cortisol - Stress

Breeding sows are regularly exposed to on-farm stressors throughout the duration of their production period. The impact of such stressors may differ for primi- and multiparous sows, as sows could learn to cope with stressors as they gain experience with them. If parity affects stress in sows, it may also impact their prenatal offspring through differential maternal stress. In addition to parity, litter size is another potential factor involved in stress of sows and piglets. Larger litters may be a source of discomfort for gestating sows, while it can result in intra-uterine growth restriction of piglets. In the current study, we aimed to assess whether parity and litter size affect cortisol measures in breeding sows and their offspring. To do this, we measured salivary cortisol concentrations of 16 primiparous and 16 multiparous sows at three time points: 1) while sows were group housed, 2) after sows were separated from the group prior to moving to the farrowing unit and 3) after handling procedures. In addition, hair cortisol concentration was determined for the sows during late gestation and for their low birth weight (n = 63) and normal birth weight (n = 43) offspring on day 3 after birth, to reflect in-utero cortisol exposure. It was expected that if sows adapt to on-farm stressors, the more experienced, multiparous sows would show decreased stress responses in comparison to primiparous sows. However, we found a comparable acute stress response of primi- and multiparous sows to separation from the group. Handling procedures did not influence sows’ salivary cortisol concentrations. Sows’ hair cortisol concentration was positively correlated with litter size. Future research is needed to assess whether this finding reflects increased stress in sows carrying larger litters. Parity or litter size did not have a direct effect on their offspring's hair cortisol concentration. Larger litters did have a higher occurrence of low birth weight piglets. For these piglets, females had higher neonatal hair cortisol concentrations than males. Overall, our results indicate that breeding sows do not adapt to all on-farm stressors. In addition, litter size may influence HPA axis activity in both sows and piglets.

When food systems meet sustainability – Current narratives and implications for actions
Béné, Christophe ; Oosterveer, Peter ; Lamotte, Lea ; Brouwer, Inge D. ; Haan, Stef de; Prager, Steve D. ; Talsma, Elise F. ; Khoury, Colin K. - \ 2019
World Development 113 (2019). - ISSN 0305-750X - p. 116 - 130.
Discourse analysis - Food security and nutrition - Food systems - Healthy diet - Sustainability

The concept of food system has gained prominence in recent years amongst both scholars and policy-makers. Experts from diverse disciplines and backgrounds have in particular discussed the nature and origin of the “unsustainability” of our modern food systems. These efforts tend, however, to be framed within distinctive disciplinary narratives. In this paper we propose to explore these narratives and to shed light on the explicit -or implicit- epistemological assumptions, mental models, and disciplinary paradigms that underpin those. The analysis indicates that different views and interpretations prevail amongst experts about the nature of the “crisis”, and consequently about the research and priorities needed to “fix” the problem. We then explore how sustainability is included in these different narratives and the link to the question of healthy diets. The analysis reveals that the concept of sustainability, although widely used by all the different communities of practice, remains poorly defined, and applied in different ways and usually based on a relatively narrow interpretation. In so doing we argue that current attempts to equate or subsume healthy diets within sustainability in the context of food system may be misleading and need to be challenged. We stress that trade-offs between different dimensions of food system sustainability are unavoidable and need to be navigated in an explicit manner when developing or implementing sustainable food system initiatives. Building on this overall analysis, a framework structured around several entry points including outcomes, core activities, trade-offs and feedbacks is then proposed, which allows to identify key elements necessary to support the transition toward sustainable food systems.

Raising the Stakes: Cassava Seed Networks at Multiple Scales in Cambodia and Vietnam
Delaquis, Erik ; Andersen, Kelsey F. ; Minato, Nami ; Cu, Thuy Thi Le ; Karssenberg, Maria Eleanor ; Sok, Sophearith ; Wyckhuys, Kris A.G. ; Newby, Jonathan C. ; Burra, Dharani Dhar ; Srean, Pao ; Phirun, Iv ; Le, Niem Duc ; Pham, Nhan Thi ; Garrett, Karen A. ; Almekinders, Conny J.M. ; Struik, Paul C. ; Haan, Stef de - \ 2018
Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 2 (2018). - ISSN 2571-581X - 21 p.
Cassava is one of the most important annual crops in Southeast Asia, and faces increasing seed borne pest and disease pressures. Despite this, cassava seed systems have received scant research attention. In a first analysis of Vietnamese and Cambodian cassava seed systems, we characterized existing cassava seed systems in 2016–2017 through a farmer survey based approach at both national and community scales, with particular focus on identifying seed system actors, planting material management, exchange mechanisms, geographies, and variety use, and performed a network analysis of detected seed movement at the provincial level. Despite their status as self-organized “informal” networks, the cassava seed systems used by farmers in Vietnam and Cambodia are complex, connected over multiple scales, and include links between geographically distant sites. Cassava planting material was exchanged through farmer seed systems, in which re-use of farm-saved supply and community-level exchanges dominated. At the national level, use of self-saved seed occurred in 47 and 64% of seed use cases in Cambodia and Vietnam, respectively. Movement within communes was prevalent, with 82 and 78% of seed provided to others being exchanged between family and acquaintances within the commune in Cambodia and Vietnam, respectively. Yet, meaningful proportions of seed flows, mediated mostly by traders, also formed inter-provincial and international exchange networks, with 20% of Cambodia's seed acquisitions imported from abroad, especially neighboring Vietnam and Thailand. Dedicated seed traders and local cassava collection points played important roles in the planting material distribution network at particular sites. Sales of planting material were important means of both acquiring and providing seed in both countries, and commercial sale was more prevalent in high-intensity than in low-intensity production sites. Considerable variability existed in local seed networks, depending on the intensity of production and integration with trader networks. Adapted innovations are needed to upgrade cassava seed systems in the face of emerging pests and diseases, taking into account and building on the strengths of the existing systems; including their social nature and ability to quickly and efficiently distribute planting materials at the regional level.
PPS Beter Bodembeheer WP1a/2
Haan, Janjo de - \ 2018
1-3 Uitwisselingsbijeenkomst bodemkwaliteitsinstrumenten
Haan, Janjo de - \ 2018
Towards field specific phosphate applications norms with machine learning
Mollenhorst, H. ; Haan, M.H.A. de; Oenema, J. ; Hoving, A.H. ; Veerkamp, R.F. ; Kamphuis, C. - \ 2018
- 1 p.
Waterwijzer Landbouw : instrumentarium voor kwantificeren van effecten van waterbeheer en klimaat op landbouwproductie
Mulder, Martin ; Hack-ten Broeke, Mirjam ; Bartholomeus, Ruud ; Dam, Jos van; Heinen, Marius ; Bakel, Jan van; Walvoort, Dennis ; Kroes, Joop ; Hoving, Idse ; Holshof, Gertjan ; Schaap, Joris ; Spruijt, Joanneke ; Supit, Iwan ; Wit, Allard de; Hendriks, Rob ; Haan, Janjo de; Voort, Marcel van der; Walsum, Paul van - \ 2018
Amersfoort : Stowa (Stowa rapport 2018-48) - ISBN 9789057738128 - 71
The Role of Endocrine and Dioxin-Like Activity of Extracts of Petroleum Substances in Developmental Toxicity as Detected in a Panel of CALUX Reporter Gene Assays
Kamelia, Lenny ; Louisse, Jochem ; Haan, Laura de; Maslowska-Gornicz, Anna ; Ketelslegers, Hans B. ; Brouwer, Abraham ; Rietjens, Ivonne M.C.M. ; Boogaard, Peter J. - \ 2018
Toxicological sciences 164 (2018)2. - ISSN 1096-6080 - p. 576 - 591.
dioxin-like activity - endocrine activity - petroleum substances - polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - prenatal developmental toxicity - reporter gene assays

Recent evidence suggests that the interaction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), present in some petroleum substances (PS), with particular nuclear-hormone-receptors and/or the dioxin (aryl hydrocarbon receptor [AhR]) receptor, may play a role in the prenatal developmental toxicity (PDT) induced by these substances. To address this hypothesis, we evaluated the possible endocrine and dioxin-like activity of the dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)-extracts of 9 PS, varying in PAH content, and 2 gas-to-liquid (GTL) products, containing no PAHs but having similar other properties as PS, using a series of Chemical Activated LUciferase gene eXpression (CALUX) assays. The results show that the extracts of PS tested in this study possess various endocrine and dioxin-like activities and these in vitro potencies are associated with the quantity and type of PAHs they contain. All tested DMSO-extracts of PS show a strong AhR agonist activity and rather weak antiprogesterone, antiandrogen, and estrogenic activities. In the assays that evaluate thyroid-related and antiestrogen activity, onlyminor effects of specific extracts, particularly those with a substantial amount of 4-5 ring PAHs, ie, sample No. 34, 98, and 99, were observed. None of the GTL extracts interacted with the selected receptors. Of all assays, the AhR agonist activity correlates best (R2 = 0.80) with the in vitro PDT of the substances as quantified previously in the embryonic stemcell test, suggesting an important role of the AhR inmediating this effect. Hierarchic clustering of the combined CALUX data clustered the compounds in line with their chemical characteristics, suggesting a PS class-specific effects signature in the various CALUX assays, depending on the PAH profile. To conclude, our findings indicate a high potential for endocrine and dioxin-like activity of some PS extracts which correlates with their in vitro PDT and is driven by the PAHs present in these substances.

Veeljarige fosfaatveldproeven op gras- en bouwland : syntheserapport
Ehlert, Phillip ; Middelkoop, Jantine van; Geel, Willem van; Haan, Janjo de; Regelink, Inge - \ 2018
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research report 2906) - 113
Substrate binding by the second sialic acid-binding site of influenza a virus N1 neuraminidase contributes to enzymatic activity
Du, Wenjuan ; Dai, Meiling ; Li, Zeshi ; Boons, Geert-Jan ; Peeters, Ben ; Kuppeveld, Frank J.M. van; Vries, Erik de; Haan, Cornelis A.M. de - \ 2018
Journal of Virology 92 (2018)20. - ISSN 0022-538X
Influenza A virus - Neuraminidase - Second SIA-binding site - Sialic acid

The influenza A virus (IAV) neuraminidase (NA) protein plays an essential role in the release of virus particles from cells and decoy receptors. The NA enzymatic activity presumably needs to match the activity of the IAV hemagglutinin (HA) attachment protein and the host sialic acid (SIA) receptor repertoire. We analyzed the enzymatic activities of N1 NA proteins derived from avian (H5N1) and human (H1N1) IAVs and analyzed the role of the second SIA-binding site, located adjacent to the conserved catalytic site, therein. SIA contact residues in the second SIAbinding site of NA are highly conserved in avian, but not human, IAVs. All N1 proteins preferred cleaving α2,3- over α2,6-linked SIAs even when their corresponding HA proteins displayed a strict preference for α2,6-linked SIAs, indicating that the specificity of the NA protein does not need to fully match that of the corresponding HA protein. NA activity was affected by substitutions in the second SIA-binding site that are observed in avian and human IAVs, at least when multivalent rather than monovalent substrates were used. These mutations included both SIA contact residues and residues that do not directly interact with SIA in all three loops of the second SIA-binding site. Substrate binding via the second SIA-binding site enhanced the catalytic activity of N1. Mutation of the second SIA-binding site was also shown to affect virus replication in vitro. Our results indicate an important role for the N1 second SIA-binding site in binding to and cleavage of multivalent substrates. IMPORTANCE Avian and human influenza A viruses (IAVs) preferentially bind α2,3- and α2,6-linked sialic acids (SIAs), respectively. A functional balance between the hemagglutinin (HA) attachment and neuraminidase (NA) proteins is thought to be important for host tropism. What this balance entails at the molecular level is, however, not well understood. We now show that N1 proteins of both avian and human viruses prefer cleaving avian- over human-type receptors although human viruses were relatively better in cleavage of the human-type receptors. In addition, we show that substitutions at different positions in the second SIA-binding site found in NA proteins of human IAVs have a profound effect on binding and cleavage of multivalent, but not monovalent, receptors and affect virus replication. Our results indicate that the HA-NA balance can be tuned via modification of substrate binding via this site and suggest an important role of the second SIA-binding site in host tropism.

Passive inhalation of dry powder influenza vaccine formulations completely protects chickens against H5N1 lethal viral challenge
Tomar, Jasmine ; Biel, Carin ; Haan, Cornelis A.M. de; Rottier, Peter J.M. ; Petrovsky, Nikolai ; Frijlink, Henderik W. ; Huckriede, Anke ; Hinrichs, Wouter L.J. ; Peeters, Ben - \ 2018
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 133 (2018). - ISSN 0939-6411 - p. 85 - 95.
Adjuvants - Challenge - Influenza - Inhalation - Passive - Powders - Protection - Pulmonary

Bird to human transmission of high pathogenicity avian influenza virus (HPAIV) poses a significant risk of triggering a flu pandemic in the human population. Therefore, vaccination of susceptible poultry during an HPAIV outbreak might be the best remedy to prevent such transmissions. To this end, suitable formulations and an effective mass vaccination method that can be translated to field settings needs to be developed. Our previous study in chickens has shown that inhalation of a non-adjuvanted dry powder influenza vaccine formulation during normal breathing results in partial protection against lethal influenza challenge. The aim of the present study was to improve the effectiveness of pulmonary vaccination by increasing the vaccine dose deposited in the lungs and by the use of suitable adjuvants. Two adjuvants, namely, Bacterium-like Particles (BLP) and Advax, were spray freeze dried with influenza vaccine into dry powder formulations. Delivery of dry formulations directly at the syrinx revealed that BLP and Advax had the potential to boost either systemic or mucosal immune responses or both. Upon passive inhalation of dry influenza vaccine formulations in an optimized set-up, BLP and Advax/BLP adjuvanted formulations induced significantly higher systemic immune responses than the non-adjuvanted formulation. Remarkably, all vaccinated animals not only survived a lethal influenza challenge, but also did not show any shedding of challenge virus except for two out of six animals in the Advax group. Overall, our results indicate that passive inhalation is feasible, effective and suitable for mass vaccination of chickens if it can be adapted to field settings.

Investigation of echosounder finger prints of Dutch pelagic freezer trawlers (SEAT II) evaluation of the SEAT II joint-industry project : evaluation of the SEAT II joint-industry project
Sakinan, Serdar ; Haan, Dick de; Burggraaf, Dirk ; Fassler, Sacha - \ 2018
IJmuiden : Wageningen Marine Research (Wageningen Marine Research rapport C020/18) - 44
The SEAT algorithm aims at classifying different fish species using relative frequency response acquired by downward looking echosounders operating at multiple frequencies. The performance of the system has been being evaluated on three Dutch freezer trawlers: Fishing Vessel (FV) SCH302 Willem van der Zwan, FV SCH6 Alida and FV SCH24 Afrika. One of these vessels (FV Alida SCH6) operates a mixture of SIMRAD EK60 & EK80 software while others operate only Simrad EK80. As reported by these vessels, the classification accuracy of the SEAT software has been reduced particularly at the later stages of the project. To investigate this problem these vessels collected acoustic data in close range of each other while targeting herring in the summer of 2017 at east of Shetland isles. Using this dataset together with calibration data, a statistical comparison was conducted. Furthermore, potential discrepancies between Simrad EK60 and EK80 systems were examined using data collected during herring assessment survey HERAS of Fishing Research Vessel (FRV) TRIDENS in July 2017. This dataset included recordings of both systems in alternating mode enabling a ping to ping comparison. It was found that two serious software bugs were likely to have influenced the calibration procedure of the EK80 software. One of these impacted the comparison of HERAS FRV Tridens records and lead to Sv gain offsets of 1.76 dB. After the correction, the measured acoustic intensities were comparable between EK60 and EK80 implying that the interchangeable application of these tools on board SCH6 should not affect species classification and measurements should be similar between vessels either using EK60 or EK80 given the instruments are calibrated correctly. The calculated relative frequency responses from the acoustic recordings of these three fishing vessels showed that FV Willem van der Zwan SCH302 and FV Alida SCH6 were found reasonably coherent, but FV Afrika SCH24 was different. These differences are associated with lower mean backscatter values of the 38 kHz channel.Similar analysis conducted in the earlier phases of this project where frequency response calculated from data collected by FV Alida SCH6 to investigate the discrepancies in the received horse mackerel frequency response and its expected fingerprints (Fassler, 2016 Annex 1). His results showed that the contribution of the 120 kHz data on the classification of varied with location and increased above latitude 52. In addition, this contribution was much lower for shoals detected in the English Channel (Fassler, 2016). Fassler (2016) also suggested that water pressure may affect the morphology of swimbladdered species and may explain the variability between shoals detected on the Atlantic Ocean and in the English Channel. The depth related effects found in different cases suggests that water depth has to be accounted for as an additional variable for each location. As suggested by Fassler (2016), these results may gain significance when the number of datasets increases.The results of the investigations presented here show that further post-processing of calibration records may improve the data quality hence the classification outputs. Particularly the unexpected reduction in the classification performance after 2016 can be improved by rolling back all the SEAT settings to an original state followed by proper calibrations settings. It is also recommended to maintain the latest software versions to ensure equipment are operating efficiently and consistent across the vessels. Regular tests with vessels fishing in close range as in the case of the summer of 2017 is a useful approach to test species recognition and to compare overall performance of the classification algorithm.
Kinetic analysis of the influenza A virus HA/NA balance reveals contribution of NA to virus-receptor binding and NA-dependent rolling on receptor-containing surfaces
Guo, Hongbo ; Rabouw, Huib ; Slomp, Anne ; Dai, Meiling ; Vegt, Floor van der; Lent, Jan W.M. van; McBride, Ryan ; Paulson, James C. ; Groot, Raoul J. de; Kuppeveld, Frank J.M. van; Vries, Erik de; Haan, Cornelis A.M. de - \ 2018
PLoS Pathogens 14 (2018)8. - ISSN 1553-7366

Interactions of influenza A virus (IAV) with sialic acid (SIA) receptors determine viral fitness and host tropism. Binding to mucus decoy receptors and receptors on epithelial host cells is determined by a receptor-binding hemagglutinin (HA), a receptor-destroying neuraminidase (NA) and a complex in vivo receptor-repertoire. The crucial but poorly understood dynamics of these multivalent virus-receptor interactions cannot be properly analyzed using equilibrium binding models and endpoint binding assays. In this study, the use of biolayer interferometric analysis revealed the virtually irreversible nature of IAV binding to surfaces coated with synthetic sialosides or engineered sialoglycoproteins in the absence of NA activity. In addition to HA, NA was shown to be able to contribute to the initial binding rate while catalytically active. Virus-receptor binding in turn contributed to receptor cleavage by NA. Multiple low-affinity HA-SIA interactions resulted in overall extremely high avidity but also permitted a dynamic binding mode, in which NA activity was driving rolling of virus particles over the receptor-surface. Virus dissociation only took place after receptor density of the complete receptor-surface was sufficiently decreased due to NA activity of rolling IAV particles. The results indicate that in vivo IAV particles, after landing on the mucus layer, reside continuously in a receptor-bound state while rolling through the mucus layer and over epithelial cell surfaces driven by the HA-NA-receptor balance. Quantitative BLI analysis enabled functional examination of this balance which governs this dynamic and motile interaction that is expected to be crucial for penetration of the mucus layer and subsequent infection of cells by IAV but likely also by other enveloped viruses carrying a receptor-destroying enzyme in addition to a receptor-binding protein.

Telers kunnen meer uit groenbemesters halen
Haan, Janjo de; Kroonen-Backbier, Brigitte - \ 2018
Self-foraging vs facilitated foraging by Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) at the Frisian Front, the Netherlands
Baptist, Martin ; Bemmelen, Rob Van; Leopold, Mardik ; Haan, Dick De; Flores, Hauke ; Couperus, Bram ; Fassler, Sascha ; Geelhoed, Steve - \ 2018
Bulletin of Marine Science (2018). - ISSN 0007-4977 - 16 p.
The Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus Linnaeus, 1758) is a surface feeder with a broad prey spectrum that forages in the North Sea on subsurface pelagic fishes and crabs swimming within 0.6 m of the sea surface. In July 2006 and in July/August 2009 we surveyed the Frisian Front area in the southern North Sea (53.4oN-54.3oN 4.0oE-5.5oE) to determine the prey base for Lesser Black-backed Gulls. In July/August 2009 we conducted bird counts in an integrated ecosystem survey by simultaneously sampling subsurface pelagic prey by a combination of fishing and echosounding. Lesser Black-backed Gulls make use of facilitated foraging to improve the catchability of their prey. The two most important aids for facilitated foraging by Lesser Black-backed Gull in the Frisian Front were i) multi-species feeding associations with Common Murre and ii) fisheries discarding bycatch and offal. We found that in the top meter of the water column the natural prey base is large enough to provide for self-foraging, however, Lesser Black-backed Gulls were found to rely mainly on facilitated foraging.
Reply to comment by Van de Ven et al. on our paper “Crop yield gap and stability in conventional and organic systems”
Schrama, M. ; Haan, J.J. de; Kroonen, M. ; Verstegen, H. ; Putten, W.H. van der - \ 2018
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 267 (2018). - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 83 - 86.
Woelen wint terrein
Duifhuizen, Wolfgang ; Cuperus, Fogelina ; Asperen, P. van; Haan, J.J. de - \ 2018
Akkerwijzer 13 (2018)7. - ISSN 2588-9397 - p. 22 - 23.
BedrijfsWaterWijzer : versie 2018.01
Verloop, Koos ; Noij, Gert-Jan ; Hoving, Idse ; Haan, Michel de - \ 2018
Wageningen : Wageningen Livestock Research (Rapport / Koeien en kansen nr. 80) - 81
Development of a Virosomal RSV Vaccine Containing 3D-PHAD® Adjuvant : Formulation, Composition, and Long-Term Stability
Lederhofer, J. ; Lent, J. van; Bhoelan, F. ; Karneva, Z. ; Haan, A. de; Wilschut, J.C. ; Stegmann, T. - \ 2018
Pharmaceutical Research 35 (2018)9. - ISSN 0724-8741
adjuvant - monophosphoryl lipid A - respiratory syncytial virus - single particle tracking - vaccine - virosomes

Purpose: Characterization of virosomes, in late stage preclinical development as vaccines for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), with a membrane-incorporated synthetic monophosphoryl lipid A, 3D-PHAD® adjuvant. Methods: Virosomes were initially formed by contacting a lipid film containing 3D-PHAD® with viral membranes solubilized with the short chain phospholipid DCPC, followed by dialysis, later by adding solubilized 3D-PHAD to viral membranes, or to preformed virosomes from DMSO. Results: Virosomes formed from lipid films contained the membrane glycoproteins G and F, at similar F to G ratios but lower concentrations than in virus, and the added lipids, but only a fraction of the 3D-PHAD®. By single particle tracking (SPT), the virosome size distribution resembled that seen by cryo-electron microscopy, but dynamic light scattering showed much larger particles. These differences were caused by small virosome aggregates. Measured by SPT, virosomes were stable for 300 days. 3DPHAD ® incorporation in virosomes could be enhanced by providing the adjuvant from DCPC solubilized stock, but also by adding DMSO dissolved adjuvant to pre-formed virosomes. Virosomes with 0.1 mg/mg of 3D-PHAD®/viral protein from DMSO induced antibody titers similar to those by virosomes containing 0.2 mg/mg of DCPC-solubilized 3D-PHAD®. Conclusions: Stable 3D-PHAD® adjuvanted RSV virosomes can be formulated.

Changes in intestinal gene expression and microbiota composition during late pregnancy are mouse strain dependent
Elderman, Marlies ; Hugenholtz, Floor ; Belzer, Clara ; Boekschoten, Mark ; Haan, Bart de; Vos, Paul de; Faas, Marijke - \ 2018
Scientific Reports 8 (2018)1. - ISSN 2045-2322

Hormones and placental factors are thought to underlie the maternal immunological changes during pregnancy. However, as several intestinal microbiota are linked to immune modulations, we hypothesized that the intestinal microbiota are altered during pregnancy in favor of species associated with pregnancy associated immune modulations. We studied the fecal microbiota composition (MITchip) and intestinal and peripheral immune cells (microarray and flow cytometry) in pregnant and non-pregnant C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. Pregnancy influenced intestinal microbiota diversity and composition, however in a mouse strain dependent way. Pregnant BALB/c mice had, among others, a relative higher abundance of Lactobacillus paracasei et rel., Roseburia intestinalis et rel. and Eubacterium hallii et rel., as compared to non-pregnant BALB/c mice, while the microbiota composition in B6 mice hardly changed during pregnancy. Additionally, intestinal immunological pathways were changed during pregnancy, however again in a mouse strain dependent way. Correlations between various bacteria and immunological genes were observed. Our data do support a role for the microbiome in changing immune responses in pregnancy. However, other factors are also involved, such as for instance changes in SCFA or changes in sensitivity to bacteria, since although immunological changes are observed in B6 mice, hardly any changes in microbiota were found in this strain. Follow up studies are needed to study the exact relationship between these parameters.

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