The Keystone commensal bacterium Christensenella minuta DSM 22607 displays anti‐inflammatory properties both in vitro and in vivo

Jun 1, 2021

Camille Kropp, Katy Le Corf, Karima Relizani, Kevin Tambosco, Ccori Martinez, Florian Chain, Georges Rawadi, Philippe Langella, Sandrine P. Claus & Rebeca Martin

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Christensenellaceae is a family of subdominant commensal bacteria found in humans. It is thought to play an important role in gut health by maintaining microbial symbiosis. Indeed, these bacteria occur at significantly lower levels or are absent in individuals suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). Here, we explored if type species Christensenella minuta (strain: DSM 22607) could have the potential to help treat IBDs. We assessed key properties displayed by the bacterium using a combination of in vitro and in vivo assays. We found that while C. minuta is a strict anaerobe, it is also oxygen tolerant. Additionally, we observed that the species produces high levels of acetate and moderate levels of butyrate. We performed deep phenotyping using Biolog microarrays. Using human intestinal cell lines, we discovered that C. minuta demonstrated strong anti‐inflammatory activity, resulting in reduced levels of proinflammatory IL‐8 cytokines via the inhibition of the NF‐κB signaling pathway. Furthermore, C. minuta protected intestinal epithelial integrity in vitro. Finally, in two distinct animal models of acute colitis, C. minuta prevented intestinal damage, reduced colonic inflammation, and promoted mucosal healing.

Together, these results indicate that C. minuta has potent immunomodulatory properties, underscoring its potential use in innovative microbiome‐based IBD biotherapies.


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