Bile acids drive the newborn's gut microbiota maturation

N. van Best, U. Rolle-Kampczyk, F. G. Schaap, M. Basic, S. W. M. Olde Damink, A. Bleich, P. H. M. Savelkoul, M. von Bergen, J. Penders*, M. W. Hornef

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Web of Science)


Following birth, the neonatal intestine is exposed to maternal and environmental bacteria that successively form a dense and highly dynamic intestinal microbiota. Whereas the effect of exogenous factors has been extensively investigated, endogenous, host-mediated mechanisms have remained largely unexplored. Concomitantly with microbial colonization, the liver undergoes functional transition from a hematopoietic organ to a central organ of metabolic regulation and immune surveillance. The aim of the present study was to analyze the influence of the developing hepatic function and liver metabolism on the early intestinal microbiota. Here, we report on the characterization of the colonization dynamics and liver metabolism in the murine gastrointestinal tract (n = 6-10 per age group) using metabolomic and microbial profiling in combination with multivariate analysis. We observed major agedependent microbial and metabolic changes and identified bile acids as potent drivers of the early intestinal microbiota maturation. Consistently, oral administration of tauro-cholic acid or beta-tauro-murocholic acid to newborn mice (n = 7 -14 per group) accelerated postnatal microbiota maturation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3692
Number of pages13
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020



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