Inside-out chicken enteroids with leukocyte component as a model to study host-pathogen interactions

19 Mar 2021
Nash TJ, Morris KM, Mabbott NA and Vervelde L

Mammalian three-dimensional (3D) enteroids mirror in vivo intestinal organisation and are powerful tools to investigate intestinal cell biology and host-pathogen interactions. We have developed complex multilobulated 3D chicken enteroids from intestinal embryonic villi and adult crypts. These avian enteroids develop optimally in suspension without the structural support required to produce mammalian enteroids, resulting in an inside-out enteroid conformation with media-facing apical brush borders. Histological and transcriptional analyses show these enteroids comprise of differentiated intestinal epithelial cells bound by cell-cell junctions, and notably, include intraepithelial leukocytes and an inner core of lamina propria leukocytes. The advantageous polarisation of these enteroids has enabled infection of the epithelial apical surface with Salmonella Typhimurium, influenza A virus and Eimeria tenella without the need for micro-injection. We have created a comprehensive model of the chicken intestine which has the potential to explore epithelial and leukocyte interactions and responses in host-pathogen, food science and pharmaceutical research.