Interactions between the gut microbiota, short-chain fatty acids and the immune system in pediatric patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Nastasi, Claudia (2015) Interactions between the gut microbiota, short-chain fatty acids and the immune system in pediatric patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare e molecolare, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6781.
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The gut microbiota (GM) is essential for human health and contributes to several diseases; indeed it can be considered an extension of the self and, together with the genetic makeup, determines the physiology of an organism. In this thesis has been studied the peripheral immune system reconstitution in pediatric patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) in the early phase; in parallel, have been also explored the gut microbiota variations as one of the of primary factors in governing the fate of the immunological recovery, predisposing or protecting from complications such as the onset of acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Has been demonstrated, to our knowledge for the first time, that aHSCT in pediatric patients is associated to a profound modification of the GM ecosystem with a disruption of its mutualistic asset. aGvHD and non-aGvHD subjects showed differences in the process of GM recovery, in members abundance of the phylum Bacteroidetes, and in propionate fecal concentration; the latter are higher in the pre-HSCT composition of non-GvHD subjects than GvHD ones. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as acetate, butyrate and propionate, are end-products of microbial fermentation of macronutrients and distribute systemically from the gut to blood. For this reason, has been studied their effect in vitro on human DCs, the key regulators of our immune system and the main player of aGvHD onset. Has been observed that propionate and, particularly, butyrate show a strong and direct immunomodulatory activity on DCs reducing inflammatory markers such as chemokines and interleukins. This study, with the needed caution, suggests that the pre-existing GM structure can be protective against aGvHD onset, exerting its protective role through SCFAs. They, indeed, may regulate cell traffic within secondary lymphoid tissues, influence T cell development during antigen recognition, and, thus, directly shape the immune system.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Nastasi, Claudia
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Gut microbiota; Immune system reconstitution; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; pediatrics; Short-chain fatty acids; bacterial metabolites; Dendritic cells.
Data di discussione
10 Aprile 2015

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