Washington, Oct. 19 (ANI): Scientists have shown that specific gut bacteria are beneficial for maintaining a healthy intestine in the fruit fly Drosophila and mice, it also contributes to the overall health of these organisms.
The researchers demonstrated that bacteria in the gut, particularly members of the genus Lactobacillus, promote the growth of host epithelial cells and that this is essential for maintaining homeostasis in the intestinal system.
Andrew S. Neish, Professor at the Emory University School of Medicine, who led the research, said that it is well-known that mammals live in a homeostatic symbiosis with their gut microbiota and that they influence a wide range of physiological processes.
He said that the molecular mechanisms of the symbiotic cross-talk in the gut are largely unrecognized.
Neish asserted that in their study, they discovered that Lactobacilli can stimulate reactive oxygen species that have regulatory effects on intestinal stem cells, including the activation of proliferation of these cells.
Using two different animal models, the researchers showed that the highly conserved underlying mechanism of this symbiotic relationship is the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), by a class of conserved enzymes called NADPH oxidases or Nox'es.
When animal guts were colonized by Lactobacillus, ROS production caused cell growth in intestinal stem cells. In contrast, in germ-free animals ROS production was absent and resulted in suppressed growth of epithelial cells.
The findings have been published in The EMBO Journal. (ANI)