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Gut microbiota crosstalk mechanisms are key in pulmonary hypertension: The involvement of melatonin is instrumental too

Jacobs, Steve, Payne, Carmen, Shaboodien, Sara, Kgatla, Thato, Pretorius, Amy, Jumaar, Chrisstoffel, Sanni, Olakunle, Butrous, Ghazwan S., Maarman, Gerald (2023) Gut microbiota crosstalk mechanisms are key in pulmonary hypertension: The involvement of melatonin is instrumental too. Pulmonary Circulation, 13 (3). Article Number e12277. ISSN 2045-8932. (doi:10.1002/pul2.12277) (KAR id:102587)


The microbiota refers to a plethora of microorganisms with a gene pool of approximately three million, which inhabits the human gastrointestinal tract or gut. The latter, not only promotes the transport of nutrients, ions, and fluids from the lumen to the internal environment but is linked with the development of diseases including coronary artery disease, heart failure, and lung diseases. The exact mechanism of how the microbiota achieves crosstalk between itself and distant organs/tissues is not clear, but factors released to other organs may play a role, like inflammatory and genetic factors, and now we highlight melatonin as a novel mediator of the gut-lung crosstalk. Melatonin is present in high concentrations in the gut and the lung and has recently been linked to the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension (PH). In this comprehensive review of the literature, we suggest that melatonin is an important link between the gut microbiota and the development of PH (where suppressed melatonin-crosstalk between the gut and lungs could promote the development of PH). More studies are needed to investigate the link between the gut microbiota, melatonin and PH. Studies could also investigate whether microbiota genes play a role in the epigenetic aspects of PH. This is relevant because, for example, dysbiosis (caused by epigenetic factors) could reduce melatonin signaling between the gut and lungs, reduce subcellular melatonin concentrations in the gut/lungs, or reduce melatonin serum levels secondary to epigenetic factors. This area of research is largely unexplored and further studies are warranted.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/pul2.12277
Uncontrolled keywords: pulmonary hypertension, gut microbiota, signaling pathways, melatonin, inflammation
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Medway School of Pharmacy
Funders: National Research Foundation (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2023 15:00 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2023 13:39 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Butrous, Ghazwan S..

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