Gut microbiota act beyond the gastrointestinal tract to regulate the physiology of the host. However, their contribution to the antioxidant capacity of the host remains largely understudied. In this study, we observe that gut bacteria increase the steady-state plasma levels of high-antioxidant molecules, reactive sulfur species (RSS), such as hydrogen sulfide and cysteine persulfide (CysSSH), in the host. Moreover, gut bacteria utilize cystine as a substrate to enzymatically produce CysSSH. Administration of cystine to mice increases their plasma levels of RSS and suppresses the concanavalin-A-induced oxidative stress and liver damage in a gut-microbiota-dependent manner. We find that gut bacteria belonging to the Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae families have a high capacity to produce RSS, requiring pyridoxal 5′-phosphate for their enzymatic reactions. Collectively, our data demonstrate that gut microbiota enhance the antioxidant capacity of the host through the generation of RSS.
- gut microbiota
- oxidative stress
- reactive sulfur species
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)