2022 journal article
Prolonged oral antimicrobial administration prevents doxorubicin-induced loss of active intestinal stem cells
GUT MICROBES, 14(1).
Acute intestinal mucositis is a common off-target effect of chemotherapy, leading to co-morbidities such as vomiting, diarrhea, sepsis, and death. We previously demonstrated that the presence of enteric bacteria modulates the extent of jejunal epithelial damage induced by doxorubicin (DXR) in mice. Despite conventional thinking of the crypt as a sterile environment, recent evidence suggests that bacterial signaling influences aISC function. In this study, we labeled aISCs using transgenic Lgr5-driven fluorescence or with immunostaining for OLFM4. We examined the effect of DXR in both germ free (GF) mice and mice depleted of microbiota using an established antimicrobial treatment protocol (AMBx). We found differences in DXR-induced loss of aISCs between GF mice and mice treated with AMBx. aISCs were decreased after DXR in GF mice, whereas AMBx mice retained aISC expression after DXR. Neither group of mice exhibited an inflammatory response to DXR, suggesting the difference in aISC retention was not due to differences in local tissue inflammation. Therefore, we suspected that there was a protective microbial signal present in the AMBx mice that was not present in the GF mice. 16S rRNA sequencing of jejunal luminal contents demonstrated that AMBx altered the fecal and jejunal microbiota. In the jejunal contents, AMBx mice had increased abundance of Ureaplasma and Burkholderia. These results suggest pro-survival signaling from microbiota in AMBx-treated mice to the aISCs, and that this signaling maintains aISCs in the face of chemotherapeutic injury. Manipulation of the enteric microbiota presents a therapeutic target for reducing the severity of chemotherapy-associated mucositis.