Gut bugs encourage hematopoietic recovery

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Science  27 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6387, pp. 394-395
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6387.394-d

Antibacterial measures are vital to the success of many clinical interventions. But increasing evidence shows that we need to be more discriminating in our efforts at bacterial extirpation. Profound immunodeficiency is a major challenge for postoperative bone marrow transplantation (BMT) patients. Considering that the gut microbiota is important for immune training during early life, Staffas et al. examined whether microbes in the intestine play a role in hematopoietic recovery after BMT. A major reduction in lymphocytes and neutrophils occurred in antibiotic-treated mice after surgery, accompanied by a loss of visceral fat. Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells were less affected. Experiments with different antibiotics showed that ampicillin was associated with the poorest recovery and greatest fat loss because it caused near-total ablation of the microbiota.

Cell Host Microbe 10.1016/j.chom.2018.03.002 (2018).

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