For decades, researchers have hypothesized that cross-talk between the intestinal flora and the immune system can either maintain healthy homeostasis or, if perturbed, can lead to excessive inflammation. In collaboration with Eric Pamer and colleagues, we are using 16s rRNA gene sequencing techniques to characterize how the microbiota can interact with GVHD.
Regulation of intestinal inflammation by microbiota following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.
In a recent paper, by Dr. Robert Jenq et al. we have demonstrated that murine and human recipients of HSCT, intestinal inflammation secondary to GVHD is associated with major shifts in the composition of the intestinal microbiota, and, in turn, gut flora can modulate the severity of intestinal inflammation. Mice that developed GVHD exhibited a reduction in flora diversity with an expansion in the order of Lactobacillales and decrease in the order of Clostridiales. This change in microbiota diversity was also observed in human settings in patient with GVHD. These results suggest that GVHD deeply impact microbiota balance and that manipulation of the flora may be translate in clinical therapy to improve outcomes for transplanted recipients.(1)