Monday's Seminar - Prof. Harry Sokol

  • Recherche,
  • Santé-Sciences-Technologie,
  • Santé-social,

le 2 mai 2019

From 11h00 to 12h00
School of Medicine
Amphi. C

Prof. Patrick Emond invites Prof. Harry Sokol (Gastroenterology Department Saint-Antoine Hospital, Paris) to share his research and expertise tryptophan metabolism and gut microbiota in health and disease

Tryptophan metabolism and gut microbiota in health and disease

Harry Sokol

Sorbonne Université, École normale supérieure, PSL Research University, CNRS, INSERM, AP-HP, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Laboratoire de biomolécules, LBM, F-75005 Paris, France

INRA, UMR1319 Micalis & AgroParisTech, Jouy en Josas, France

Keywords : gut microbiota, tryptophan


The gut microbiota is a crucial actor in human physiology. Many of these effects are mediated by metabolites that are either produced by the microbes or derived from the transformation of environmental or host molecules. A large array of metabolites drives the crosstalk between the host and itsmicrobiome. The three currently most studied categories ofmetabolites involved in host-microbiota interactions are (1) short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), produced by bacteria from the fermentation of fibers; (2) bile acids produced in the liver and transformed by the gut microbiota before re-affecting the host; and (3) tryptophan (Trp) metabolites.

In the gut, the three major tryptophan metabolism pathways leading to serotonin, kynurenine and indole derivatives are under the direct or indirect control of the microbiota and are tightly interconnected. Beyond changes in microbiota composition, several key functions are altered in disease and this play a role in disease onset, chronicity or complication. We showed that the ability of the gut microbiota to produce AhR agonists from tryptophan metabolism is impaired in several diseases including inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome. More importantly, correcting this functional defect, either pharmacologically or through the administration of bacteria that are natural producers of AhR agonists, induces beneficial effects. Manipulating the gut microbiota to modulate the tryptophan metabolism and particularly the AhR pathway could be of therapeutic interest for many human diseases.

Contact :
Prof. Patrick Emond :