Multi-omics analyses of radiation survivors identify radioprotective microbes and metabolites.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Ionizing radiation causes acute radiation syndrome, which leads to hematopoietic, gastrointestinal, and cerebrovascular injuries. We investigated a population of mice that recovered from high-dose radiation to live normal life spans. These "elite-survivors" harbored distinct gut microbiota that developed after radiation and protected against radiation-induced damage and death in both germ-free and conventionally housed recipients. Elevated abundances of members of the bacterial taxa Lachnospiraceae and Enterococcaceae were associated with postradiation restoration of hematopoiesis and gastrointestinal repair. These bacteria were also found to be more abundant in leukemia patients undergoing radiotherapy, who also displayed milder gastrointestinal dysfunction. In our study in mice, metabolomics revealed increased fecal concentrations of microbially derived propionate and tryptophan metabolites in elite-survivors. The administration of these metabolites caused long-term radioprotection, mitigation of hematopoietic and gastrointestinal syndromes, and a reduction in proinflammatory responses.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Guo, H; Chou, W-C; Lai, Y; Liang, K; Tam, JW; Brickey, WJ; Chen, L; Montgomery, ND; Li, X; Bohannon, LM; Sung, AD; Chao, NJ; Peled, JU; Gomes, ALC; van den Brink, MRM; French, MJ; Macintyre, AN; Sempowski, GD; Tan, X; Sartor, RB; Lu, K; Ting, JPY

Published Date

  • October 30, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 370 / 6516

PubMed ID

  • 33122357

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7898465

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.aay9097


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States