Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the CFTR anion channel. Loss of CFTR function in pancreatic, biliary and intestinal epithelia, severely affects gastrointestinal function. Transcriptome analysis indicated the activation of an innate and adaptive immune response in the distal small intestine of Cftr null mice. Inflammation was associated with differential regulation of numerous genes involved in the transport and metabolism of nutrients and, particularly, lipids, that are targeted by ligand-dependent nuclear receptors and/or HNF4α. Among the most strongly down-regulated genes are the FXR targets Fgf15 and Nr0b2, the PPARα target Pdk4, and the PXR target Ces2a, whereas expression of the CF modifier gene Slc6a14 was strongly increased. Most changes in gene expression were reversed by bacterial containment. Our data suggest that the gut microbiota has a pervasive effect on gene expression in CF mice, affecting enterocyte maturation, lipid metabolism, and nutrient absorption in CF.

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Keywords CFTR, Cystic fibrosis, Dysbiosis, HNF4A, Inflammation, Intestine, Lipid metabolism, Microbiome, Nuclear receptors, Transcriptome analysis
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Journal Genomics
Ikpa, P.T, Meijsen, K.F. (Kelly F.), Nieuwenhuijze, N.D.A. (Natascha D.A.), Dulla, K, de Jonge, H.R, & Bijvelds, M.J.C. (2019). Transcriptome analysis of the distal small intestine of Cftr null mice. Genomics. doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2019.06.028