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Symbiotic lactobacilli stimulate gut epithelial proliferation via Nox‐mediated generation of reactive oxygen species

Rheinallt M Jones, Liping Luo, Courtney S Ardita, Arena N Richardson, Young Man Kwon, Jeffrey W Mercante, Ashfaqul Alam, Cymone L Gates, Huixia Wu, Phillip A Swanson, J David Lambeth, Patricia W Denning, Andrew S Neish

Author Affiliations

  1. Rheinallt M Jones*,1,
  2. Liping Luo1,
  3. Courtney S Ardita1,
  4. Arena N Richardson2,
  5. Young Man Kwon1,
  6. Jeffrey W Mercante1,
  7. Ashfaqul Alam1,
  8. Cymone L Gates1,
  9. Huixia Wu1,
  10. Phillip A Swanson1,
  11. J David Lambeth1,
  12. Patricia W Denning2 and
  13. Andrew S Neish1
  1. 1 Epithelial Pathobiology Unit, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA
  2. 2 Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA
  1. *Corresponding author. Department of Pathology, Emory University School of Medicine, 135C Whitehead Building, 615 Michael Street, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. Tel.:+1 404 712 2816; Fax:+1 404 727 8538; E‐mail: rjones5{at}
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The resident prokaryotic microbiota of the metazoan gut elicits profound effects on the growth and development of the intestine. However, the molecular mechanisms of symbiotic prokaryotic–eukaryotic cross‐talk in the gut are largely unknown. It is increasingly recognized that physiologically generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) function as signalling secondary messengers that influence cellular proliferation and differentiation in a variety of biological systems. Here, we report that commensal bacteria, particularly members of the genus Lactobacillus, can stimulate NADPH oxidase 1 (Nox1)‐dependent ROS generation and consequent cellular proliferation in intestinal stem cells upon initial ingestion into the murine or Drosophila intestine. Our data identify and highlight a highly conserved mechanism that symbiotic microorganisms utilize in eukaryotic growth and development. Additionally, the work suggests that specific redox‐mediated functions may be assigned to specific bacterial taxa and may contribute to the identification of microbes with probiotic potential.

  • Received February 21, 2013.
  • Accepted September 18, 2013.
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