Mice model gut Microbiome study

Hey guys, I am currently planning to use mice model for gut Microbiome and recently I stumbled upon on paper on critical review of mice model for gut Microbiome study…But many of the gut Microbiota study were based upon mice models. My main area of study to is capture the taxonomy along with diversities in different time points and metabolomics study. Is it better to use mice model for this study …?

Neat paper, @Sreevatshan. I didn’t dig too deep, but it was a good skim.

I’m not sure exactly what your question is, but I didn’t get the impression the authors are recommending against mouse microbiome studies. To the contrary, they suggest that despite their flaws as study subjects, there are probably practical reasons they will continue to be used. (This idea is not unique to microbiome.)

In view of these results, one may wonder why mouse models are used so often for translation to human and the simple answer could be that there is no better alternative.

What I loved about this paper is that the authors point clearly at some specific limitations of the model: reproducibility and applicability of mouse models for meta-analysis, especially considering provider and housing bias. They even give specific advice on ways to mitigate the issues:

Future studies should focus on reproducing microbial differences at different locations with different mouse strains to truly show a robust effect of the diet, genotype or environmental factors on the microbial composition. Since the human intestinal microbiota is so different from that of mice, such robustness checks should precede any extrapolation to human.

Moral of the story in my book? Pay attention to these factors when designing experiments, collect comprehensive study metadata so that you can consider cage and provider bias, and publish that metadata alongside your results in an open data repository so that people conducting meta-analysis have a better shot at drawing meaningful conclusions. Thanks for sharing!