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PapRIV, a BV-2 microglial cell activating quorum sensing peptide.


Quorum sensing peptides (QSPs) are bacterial peptides produced by Gram-positive bacteria to communicate with their peers in a cell-density dependent manner. These peptides do not only act as interbacterial communication signals, but can also have effects on the host. Compelling evidence demonstrates the presence of a gut-brain axis and more specifically, the role of the gut microbiota in microglial functioning. The aim of this study is to investigate microglial activating properties of a selected QSP (PapRIV) which is produced by Bacillus cereus species. PapRIV showed in vitro activating properties of BV-2 microglia cells and was able to cross the in vitro Caco-2 cell model and reach the brain. In vivo peptide presence was also demonstrated in mouse plasma. The peptide caused induction of IL-6, TNFα and ROS expression and increased the fraction of ameboid BV-2 microglia cells in an NF-κB dependent manner. Different metabolites were identified in serum, of which the main metabolite still remained active. PapRIV is thus able to cross the gastro-intestinal tract and the blood-brain barrier and shows in vitro activating properties in BV-2 microglia cells, hereby indicating a potential role of this quorum sensing peptide in gut-brain interaction.

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