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Brain Behav Immun. 2017 Mar;61:36-49. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2016.11.002. Epub 2016 Nov 5.

Microbial lysate upregulates host oxytocin.

Author information

1
Division of Comparative Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
2
Division of Comparative Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; College of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece.
3
Neurobiology of Social Behavior Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA.
4
Division of Comparative Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
5
University of Massachusetts Medical School and Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA, USA.
6
College of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece.
7
Clinical Research Center, Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, Massachusetts Institute or Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
8
Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.
9
Division of Comparative Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. Electronic address: serdman@mit.edu.

Abstract

Neuropeptide hormone oxytocin has roles in social bonding, energy metabolism, and wound healing contributing to good physical, mental and social health. It was previously shown that feeding of a human commensal microbe Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) is sufficient to up-regulate endogenous oxytocin levels and improve wound healing capacity in mice. Here we show that oral L. reuteri-induced skin wound repair benefits extend to human subjects. Further, dietary supplementation with a sterile lysate of this microbe alone is sufficient to boost systemic oxytocin levels and improve wound repair capacity. Oxytocin-producing cells were found to be increased in the caudal paraventricular nucleus [PVN] of the hypothalamus after feeding of a sterile lysed preparation of L. reuteri, coincident with lowered blood levels of stress hormone corticosterone and more rapid epidermal closure, in mouse models. We conclude that microbe viability is not essential for regulating host oxytocin levels. The results suggest that a peptide or metabolite produced by bacteria may modulate host oxytocin secretion for potential public or personalized health goals.

KEYWORDS:

Bacteria; Corticosterone; Postbiotic; Stress; Thymus; Wound healing

PMID:
27825953
PMCID:
PMC5431580
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbi.2016.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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