Background: Intestinal microbial ecology is actively regulated by Paneth cell-derived antimicrobial peptides, α-defensins. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT). We previously demonstrated that Paneth cells are targeted by GVHD, and their expression of antimicrobial peptide α-defensins is impaired, leading to a loss of physiological diversity among the microflora and development of bloodstream infection. Herein, we evaluated whether fecal levels of α-defensins could be surrogate marker of intestinal dysbiosis. Methods: We directly measured α-defensin cryptdin-1 (Crp1) in fecal pellets of mice with GVHD by using a novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Fecal levels of Crp1 were significantly decreased in mice with GVHD but unchanged in mice without GVHD after SCT. These were correlated with intestinal flora diversity. Conclusion: We demonstrate a link between reduced secretion of Paneth cell α-defensins and dysbiosis of intestinal flora in GVHD. Fecal levels of α-defensins could be surrogate markers for intestinal microbial homeostasis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes