Regulation of Intestinal Inflammation by Microbiota following Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplantation

VIDEO | 03:00

Medical oncologist Robert Jenq of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service describes research published in the May 7, 2012, issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine on the link between intestinal bacteria and intestinal inflammation due to graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Abdominal pain and diarrhea are among the many symptoms associated with GVHD, which occurs when the T cells from the bone marrow donor attack the tissues of the transplant recipient. Using a murine model as well as patient samples, Dr. Jenq and investigators found that GVHD dramatically altered the composition of intestinal microbiota in both scenarios, and that altering the microbiota by increasing Lactobacillus levels offers protection against GVHD.Their data suggests that flora manipulation may reduce intestinal inflammation and improve outcomes for allogeneic bone marrow transplant recipients, reducing the risk for GVHD.