Bone Marrow-Derived Cells Restore Functional Integrity of the Gut Epithelial and Vascular Barriers in a Model of Diabetes and ACE2 Deficiency


Rationale: There is incomplete knowledge of the impact of bone marrow (BM) cells on the gut microbiome and gut barrier function.

Objective: We postulated that diabetes and systemic angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) deficiency would synergize to adversely impact both the microbiome and gut barrier function.

Methods and Results: Bacterial 16S rRNA sequencing and metatranscriptomic analysis were performed on fecal samples from WT, ACE2−/y, Akita (type 1 diabetic, T1D), and ACE2−/y-Akita mice. Gut barrier integrity was assessed by immunofluorescence, and BM cell extravasation into the small intestine was evaluated by flow cytometry. In the ACE2−/y-Akita or Akita mice, the disrupted barrier was associated with reduced levels of myeloid angiogenic cells (MACs), but no increase in inflammatory monocytes was observed within the gut parenchyma. Genomic and metatranscriptomic analysis of the microbiome of ACE2−/y-Akita mice demonstrated a marked increase in peptidoglycan (PGN) producing bacteria. When compared to control cohorts treated with saline, intraperitoneal administration of MACs significantly decreased the microbiome gene expression associated with PGN biosynthesis and restored epithelial and endothelial gut barrier integrity. Also indicative of diabetic gut barrier dysfunction, increased levels of PGN and intestinal fatty acid binding protein-2 (FABP-2) were observed in plasma of human subjects with T1D (n=21) and Type 2 diabetes (T2D, n=23) compared to non-diabetic controls (n=23). Using human retinal endothelial cells, we determined that PGN activates a non-canonical Toll-like receptor-2 (TLR2) associated MyD88-ARNO-ARF6 signaling cascade, resulting in destabilization of p120-catenin and internalization of VE-cadherin as a mechanism of deleterious impact of PGN on the endothelium.

Conclusion: We demonstrate for the first time that the defect in gut barrier function and dysbiosis in ACE2−/y-Akita mice can be favorably impacted by exogenous administration of MACs.

Cite As
Duan, Y., Prasad, R., Feng, D., Beli, E., Calzi, S. L., Longhini, A. L. F., Lamendella, R., Floyd, J. L., Dupont, M., Noothi, S. K., Sreejit, G. K., Athmanathan, B., Wright, J., Jensen, A. R., Oudit, G. Y., Markel, T. A., Nagareddy, P. R., Obukhov, A. G., & Grant, M. B. (2019). Bone Marrow-Derived Cells Restore Functional Integrity of the Gut Epithelial and Vascular Barriers in a Model of Diabetes and ACE2 Deficiency. Circulation Research, 125(11), 969–988.
Circulation research
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