Lactobacilli Modulate Epithelial Cytoprotection through the Nrf2 Pathway

Cell Rep. 2015 Aug 25;12(8):1217-25. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.07.042. Epub 2015 Aug 13.


An optimal gut microbiota influences many beneficial processes in the metazoan host. However, the molecular mechanisms that mediate and function in symbiont-induced host responses have not yet been fully characterized. Here, we report that cellular ROS enzymatically generated in response to contact with lactobacilli in both mice and Drosophila has salutary effects against exogenous insults to the intestinal epithelium via the activation of Nrf2 responsive cytoprotective genes. These data show that the xenobiotic-inducible Nrf2 pathway participates as a signaling conduit between the prokaryotic symbiont and the eukaryotic host. Indeed, our data imply that the capacity of lactobacilli to induce redox signaling in epithelial cells is a highly conserved hormetic adaptation to impel cellular conditioning to exogenous biotic stimuli. These data also highlight the role the microbiota plays in eukaryotic cytoprotective pathways and may have significant implications in the characterization of a eubiotic microbiota.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / microbiology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / metabolism*
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / pathogenicity
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus / metabolism*
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus / pathogenicity
  • Mice
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / genetics
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Signal Transduction


  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2