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Gut microbiota: puppeteer of the host juvenile growth

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Purpose of review

This review focuses on the recent discoveries about the impact of intestinal microbiota on mammalian host juvenile growth.

Recent findings

Intestinal microbiota is a powerful modulator of many facets of multicellular host's physiology. Recent results from human field studies and animal research have clearly shown that not only the nutrition, but also the intestinal microbiota impacts host postnatal growth kinetics. Absence of microbiome leads to stunted growth in mammalian gnotobiotic models and changes in the composition of the intestinal microbiota can impact the postnatal growth kinetics both positively and negatively under normal nutritional conditions as well as in undernutrition. Strikingly, specific bacterial strains are able to interact with GH/IGF-1 somatotropic axis activity, thus directly impacting host juvenile development.Summary

Intestinal microbiota dictates the pace of host postnatal growth. This newly described role envisages that therapy with specific bacterial strains, together with re-nutritional strategies, might successfully alleviate the long-term sequelae of undernutrition during childhood in humans.
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Keywords: IGF-1; juvenile growth; microbiota; somatotropic axis; stunting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory of Gnotobiology, Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Novy Hradek, Czech Republic

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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