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Intestinal melatonin exerts diverse biological effects on the body. Our previous research showed that the abundance of the butyrate-producing bacteria, Roseburia, is positively related to the expression of colonic mucosal melatonin. However, the detailed relationship is unclear. Therefore, we aimed to explore whether Roseburia regulates intestinal melatonin and its underlying mechanisms. Male Sprague-Dawley germfree rats were orally administered with or without Roseburia hominis. R. hominis treatment significantly increased the intestinal melatonin level. The concentrations of propionate and butyrate in the intestinal contents were significantly elevated after gavage of R. hominis. Propionate or butyrate treatment increased melatonin, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT), and phosphorylated cAMP-response element-binding protein (p-CREB) levels. When pretreated with telotristat ethyl, the inhibitor of tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), or siRNA of Aanat, or 666-15, i.e., an inhibitor of CREB, propionate, or butyrate, could not promote melatonin production in the pheochromocytoma cell line BON-1. Metabolomics analysis showed that propionate and butyrate stimulation regulated levels of some metabolites and some metabolic pathways in BON-1 cell supernatants. In conclusion, propionate and butyrate, i.e., metabolites of R. hominis, can promote intestinal melatonin synthesis by increasing 5-HT levels and promoting p-CREB-mediated Aanat transcription, thereby offering a potential target for ameliorating intestinal diseases.


Lijin Song, Meibo He, Qinghua Sun, Yujing Wang, Jindong Zhang, Yuan Fang, Shuangjiang Liu, Liping Duan. Roseburia hominis Increases Intestinal Melatonin Level by Activating p-CREB-AANAT Pathway. Nutrients. 2021 Dec 28;14(1)

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PMID: 35010992

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