Summary: L1: Introduction Host-Microbe Interactions | Michiel Kleerebezem

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  • 1 Human intestinal tract

  • 1.1 Tract components

  • Why is there a low microbial load in the small intestine?

    Due to the high transit rate of food.

  • What are the main functions of the small intestine?

    - Primary digestion of food consituents.
    - Major absorption of dietary components: carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

  • What is the main function of the colon?

    - Microbial conversion of undigested food in the lumen.
    - Non-digestable carbohydrates and proteins; fermentation products.

  • 1.2 Multivariate system

  • What are the three components in the multivariate intertwined system?

    Diet:composition and amount; 
    Host: genetics;
    Microbiota: composition

  • Why are studies on the host metabolism so hard to do?

    Interventions have multiple consequences: either on the host, the diet or the microbiota.

  • How can this problem of multiple variables be solved?  

    Using model systems will reduce the variables present in the system.

  • 1.3 The intestinal dilemma

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  • How can you realize maximal absortpive capacity (nutrient intake)?

    An open intestinal structure: little mucus (only for lubrication) and easy passage through the epithelium.

  • How do you maintain an optimal barrier function to prevent bacterial translocation and damage?

    A closed intestinal structure to keep the body sterile: large mucus layer, controlled passage of nutrients through epithelium.

  • What is the intestinal dilemma?

    Balancing between the uptake of nutrients, whilst providing a barrier against microbes.

  • 2 Absorptive and barrier function

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  • What are contributors of the (absorptive &) barrier function in the crypts? 

    Stem-cells: epithelium renewal;
    Paneth cells: granules with anti-microbial compounds;
    Innate immunity: defensins, lysozym etc.

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