300-400 kDa Hyaluronic Acid is Processed by Gut Microbes to Reduce Inflammation

Researchers here note that specific species in the gut microbiome react to some forms of hyaluronic acid by increasing production of a metabolite that reduces inflammation in the body. This is likely one of many such discoveries waiting to be made, as researchers attempt to uncover specific mechanisms by which the gut microbiome can affect health. It remains the case that short-cuts exist for those who don't want to wait on a more complete understanding of these mechanisms. For example, resetting an aged gut microbiome to a more youthful configuration via fecal microbiota transplantation from a healthy young donor is one way to bypass a lack of specific knowledge as to what exactly has become less optimal in the aged gut microbiome.

In this study, the research team focused on investigating the effect of hyaluronic acid with various molecular weights. Utilizing a combination of multi-model and multi-omics technologies, the researchers established that hyaluronic acid with a specific molecular weight (300-400 kDa) can significantly mitigate inflammatory responses in mice. This effect is dependent on gut Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron and Bacteroides caccae, along with their crucial metabolite - myristic acid.

The research team found that hyaluronic acid stimulates Bacteroides to produce myristic acid, which in turn inhibits the NF-κB signaling pathway, thereby reducing cellular inflammation. This study identified the optimal molecular weight range of hyaluronic acid to improve host inflammation, elucidated the material basis and molecular mechanisms of gut effect strains, provided biomarkers for dietary polysaccharide strategies to alleviate host inflammation, and offered new strategies and insights for the efficient screening of microbiota-directed foods.

Link: https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1045913