Gut Bacteria Metabolite γKetoC shows promise in combating inflammatory bowel disease

Study Unveils Immunomodulatory Effects of Gut Bacteria-Derived Compound, Highlighting Potential Therapeutic Pathways

New Delhi: A recent study published in Frontiers in Immunology has shed new light on the potential of a gut bacteria metabolite, γKetoC, in combating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Led by Professor Chiharu Nishiyama from the Tokyo University of Science, the research team explored the immunomodulatory properties of bacterial fatty acid metabolites, offering promising insights into future IBD treatments.
The gut microbiota, comprising various microbial inhabitants in the intestine, plays a vital role in digestion and overall health maintenance. Disruptions in gut microbiota balance can have systemic repercussions, affecting digestion and immune responses. Intestinal microbes metabolize dietary components into beneficial fatty acids (FAs), which support metabolism and host body homeostasis. Metabolites derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), influenced by gut microbes like Lactobacillus plantarum, exhibit potent anti-inflammatory effects, offering potential avenues for treating metabolic and inflammatory disorders.
In their study, the research team conducted a series of experiments using both in vitro and in vivo mouse models to elucidate how bacteria-generated FAs regulate immune responses. They focused on metabolites of linoleic acid, a prevalent dietary fatty acid, and found that γKetoC, along with other derivatives of linoleic acid, significantly reduced the levels of interleukin 2—a key protein involved in immune cell expansion and inflammation. Importantly, these anti-inflammatory effects were not observed in the original PUFAs, underscoring the critical role of bacterial conversion in activating immunomodulatory properties.
Furthermore, the study identified γKetoC as particularly effective in suppressing prolonged T-cell proliferation and dendritic cell activation, processes associated with inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Mechanistic investigations revealed that γKetoC stimulated the NRF2 signalling pathway, which suppressed the production of inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-signalling inhibited inflammatory cytokine production in dendritic cells in an NRF2-dependent manner, unveiling a potential molecular axis governing the immunomodulatory effects of γKetoC.
To validate their findings in vivo, the researchers utilized a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and observed that γKetoC treatment significantly reduced fibrosis-induced tissue damage in the colon, improved stool scores, and decreased immune cell infiltration. Notably, mice deficient in NRF2 showed significant restoration of tissue damage following γKetoC treatment, further highlighting the role of NRF2 in mediating γKetoC’s anti-inflammatory effects.
Dr. Nishiyama emphasizes the potential of these discoveries in advancing the field of personalized medicine, stating, “Our findings demonstrate that the compounds of dietary oils are converted into useful metabolites with anti-inflammatory effects by gut bacteria. By conducting detailed analyses at the individual, cellular, and genetic levels, we hope to understand how the food we eat daily influences the function of immune cells, and how these effects can be targeted for the prevention and mitigation of inflammatory diseases.”
Overall, the study provides valuable insights into the potential of bacterial PUFA metabolites, particularly γKetoC, in alleviating antigen-induced intestinal inflammation and offers promising prospects for the development of novel IBD therapies. While further research is needed to unravel the complex interplay between γKetoC, GPCR-signaling, and the NRF2 pathway, these findings hold therapeutic promise for improving patient care and advancing public health initiatives.