Microbial Ecology

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 546–554 | Cite as

Structural Shifts of Fecal Microbial Communities in Rats with Acute Rejection after Liver Transplantation

Host Microbe Interactions


Bacterial translocation and the development of sepsis after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) may be promoted by immunological damage to the intestinal mucosa or by quantitative and qualitative changes in intestinal microbiota. This study monitored structural shifts of gut microbiota in rats with OLT using PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). RT-qPCR targets six major microorganisms (Domain Bacteria, Bacteroides, Bifidobacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Lactobacillus and Clostridium leptum subgroup). Isograft, Allograft and Sham model were studied. Bacterial translocation to host organs and plasma endotoxin were determined. Alteration in gut microbiota was associated with the elevation of plasma endotoxin and a higher rate of bacterial translocation (BT) to liver in rats with acute rejection. Dynamic analysis of DGGE fingerprints showed that the gut microbiota structure of animals in the three groups was similar before the operation. But significant alterations in the composition of fecal microbiota in Allograft group were observed at 1 and 2 weeks after the OLT. The acute rejection was accompanied by the shifts of gut microbiota towards members of Bacteroides and Ruminococcus. Results from RT-qPCR indicated that Bacteroides significantly increased at 2 weeks after the OLT, whereas numbers of Bifidobacterium spp. decreased at 1 week and recovered at 2 weeks after the OLT. In summary, our data showed that rats with acute rejection after OLT exhibited significant structure shifts in the gut microbiota which dominant by overgrowth of Bacteroides and Ruminococcus, and these were associated with elevation of plasma endotoxin and higher rate of BT.



Orthotopic liver transplantation


Bacterial translocation

Supplementary material

248_2012_30_MOESM1_ESM.doc (48 kb)
Table S116S rDNA real-time qPCR primers used to profile fecal samples (DOC 47 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital, College of MedicineZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Multi-organ Transplantation, Ministry of Health, the First Affiliated Hospital of Medical CollegeZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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