Nutritional Support from the Intestinal Microbiota Improves Hematopoietic Reconstitution after Bone Marrow Transplantation in Mice
Graft vs Host Disease
Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) offers curative potential for patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies, but the post-transplantation period is characterized by profound immunodeficiency. Recent studies indicate that the intestinal microbiota not only regulates mucosal immunity, but can also contribute to systemic immunity and hematopoiesis. Using antibiotic-mediated microbiota depletion in a syngeneic BMT mouse model, here we describe a role for the intestinal flora in hematopoietic recovery after BMT. Depletion of the intestinal microbiota resulted in impaired recovery of lymphocyte and neutrophil counts, while recovery of the hematopoietic stem and progenitor compartments and the erythroid lineage were largely unaffected. Depletion of the intestinal microbiota also reduced dietary energy uptake and visceral fat stores. Caloric supplementation through sucrose in the drinking water improved post-BMT hematopoietic recovery in mice with a depleted intestinal flora. Taken together, we show that the intestinal microbiota contribute to post-BMT hematopoietic reconstitution in mice through improved dietary energy uptake.