Colon lining discharges hydrogen peroxide to shield the body from gut microorganisms

Colon lining discharges hydrogen peroxide to shield the body from gut microorganisms


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source:

  • Date: 10 Dec,2020

Scientists at UC Davis Health have discovered that an enzyme in the colon lining releases hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) – a known disinfecting chemical – to protect the body from gut microbes. Their study, published Dec. 9 in the journal Cell Host and Microbe, sheds light on the way microorganisms are spatially organized in the colon. It also calls for a new approach to treating gut inflammation.

Most microbes live in the large intestine, a naturally low-oxygen environment. They form a community known as the gut microbiota.

The gut microbiota is stored away from the colon surface. This separation is essential to avoid inflammation brought on by unnecessary immune responses to gut microbes. Scientists believed that the plasma separation is maintained by oxygen released by cells to prevent microbes from coming too near the intestinal lining. This study upends that theory.

“We found that cells in the colon’s lining release hydrogen peroxide- not oxygen- to limit microbial growth.”

NOX1, an enzyme found in the intestinal lining, provides a significant source of H2O2 in the colon. Pathogens that use hydrogen peroxide can only do so when they’re directly attached to the intestinal lining. Meanwhile, the microbial communities at a distance in the colon surface stay unharmed.

Fixing gut inflammation using natural filter restoration, not antibiotics
When the body experiences an imbalance in the gut microbial community, it suffers from dysbiosis, a gastrointestinal condition. Dysbiosis may lead to inflammation and symptoms such as nausea, upset stomach and bloating. Conventional treatments of dysbiosis rely mainly on using antibiotics or probiotics to target the bacteria.

Findings in the new study indicate the need for another approach to treating stomach inflammation and dysbiosis. They pointed to the chance of restoring host functions rather than eliminating microbes.

“We need to shift the focus of gut inflammation treatments from targeting bacteria to fixing habitat filters of their host and restoring their functionality,” Bäumler stated.

Journal reference:

Miller, B.M., et al. (2020) Anaerobic Respiration of NOX1-Derived Hydrogen Peroxide Licenses Bacterial Growth at the Colonic Surface. Cell Host & Microbe.

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