immunoHuMiX – an in vitro model to study microbiome-immune system interactions

Abstract: General awareness of the human microbiome’s impact on human health and disease has grown in recent years. To study the interrelationships between specific microbial communities and the host, we developed a microfluidics-based human-microbial co-culture system – immunoHuMiX - which consists of parallel microfluidic chambers for the culture of microbial, epithelial, and immune cells. Each microchamber allows for the inoculation of the relevant cell lines and the precise control of the physiochemical conditions. immunoHuMiX is the first model allowing simultaneous culture of human epithelial and immune cells with anaerobic bacteria, e.g. specific Clostridia strains, under conditions representative of the gastrointestinal human-microbe interface. ImmunoHuMiX uncover the relationship between the microbiome, innate and adaptive immunological players and epithelial cells, and recapitulates transcriptional, metabolic and immunological responses in vivo. Coupled to integrated omic analyses and mass cytometry, ImmunoHuMiX allows investigations of host-microbe molecular interactions linking the gastrointestinal microbiome to human health and disease.