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Cell Host Microbe DOI:10.1016/j.chom.2019.04.002

Bacteroides-Derived Sphingolipids Are Critical for Maintaining Intestinal Homeostasis and Symbiosis.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsBrown, EM, Ke, X, Hitchcock, D, Jeanfavre, S, Avila-Pacheco, J, Nakata, T, Arthur, TD, Fornelos, N, Heim, C, Franzosa, EA, Watson, N, Huttenhower, C, Haiser, HJ, Dillow, G, Graham, DB, B Finlay, B, Kostic, AD, Porter, JA, Vlamakis, H, Clish, CB, Xavier, RJ
JournalCell Host Microbe
Date Published2019 May 08

Sphingolipids are structural membrane components and important eukaryotic signaling molecules. Sphingolipids regulate inflammation and immunity and were recently identified as the most differentially abundant metabolite in stool from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Commensal bacteria from the Bacteroidetes phylum also produce sphingolipids, but the impact of these metabolites on host pathways is largely uncharacterized. To determine whether bacterial sphingolipids modulate intestinal health, we colonized germ-free mice with a sphingolipid-deficient Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron strain. A lack of Bacteroides-derived sphingolipids resulted in intestinal inflammation and altered host ceramide pools in mice. Using lipidomic analysis, we described a sphingolipid biosynthesis pathway and revealed a variety of Bacteroides-derived sphingolipids including ceramide phosphoinositol and deoxy-sphingolipids. Annotating Bacteroides sphingolipids in an IBD metabolomic dataset revealed lower abundances in IBD and negative correlations with inflammation and host sphingolipid production. These data highlight the role of bacterial sphingolipids in maintaining homeostasis and symbiosis in the gut.


Alternate JournalCell Host Microbe
PubMed ID31071294