Studies indicate that the gut microbiota (GM) can significantly influence both local and systemic host physiologic processes. With rising concern for optimization of experimental reproducibility and translatability, it is essential to consider the GM in study design. However, GM profiles can vary between rodent producers making consistency between models challenging. To circumvent this, we developed outbred CD1 mouse colonies with stable, complex GM profiles that can be used as donors for a variety of GM transfer techniques including rederivation, co-housing, cross-foster, and fecal microbiota transfer (FMT). CD1 embryos were surgically transferred into CD1 or C57BL/6 surrogate dams that varied by GM composition and complexity to establish four separate mouse colonies harboring GM profiles representative of contemporary mouse producers. Using targeted 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, subsequent female offspring were found to have similar GM profiles to surrogate dams. Furthermore, breeding colonies of CD1 mice with distinct GM profiles were maintained for nine generations, demonstrating GM stability within these colonies. To confirm GM stability, we shipped cohorts of these four colonies to collaborating institutions and found no significant variation in GM composition. These mice are an invaluable experimental resource that can be used to investigate GM effects on mouse model phenotype.
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