The Tale of 3 Cities. The B6.Aec1Aec2 mice spontaneously develop a Sjogren’s syndrome like disorder. The disease in these mice is characterized by reduced saliva production, lymphocytic infiltration in to the exocrine glands and autoantibody production. The B6.Aec1Aec2 mice were originally generated by Dr Ammon Peck and his colleagues at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. On the C57BL/6 genetic background, these mice harbor 2 genetic regions (Idd5 and Idd3) from the diabetes prone NOD mice, which makes them susceptible to the spontaneous development of Sjogren’s syndrome-like disorder.
When my laboratory was at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, VA, the B6.Aec1Aec2 mice recapitulated the disease kinetics in the UVA vivarium. However, when the mice were moved and bred in the OMRF vivarium, in Oklahoma City, OK, their ability to develop spontaneous disease was significantly affected.
In this project we are investigating whether differences in the gut microbiota between different animal facilities are influencing the development of Sjogren’s syndrome-like disease in the B6.Aec1Aec2 mice. The project provides excellent opportunities for training in cutting edge microbiome research, metabolomics and mucosal immunology.