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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Nov 21, 2023  3 months, 3 days, 11 hours, 1 minute ago

Medical News: Scientists From Spain Discover That Vitamin B12 Plays A Critical Role In Cellular Reprogramming And Tissue Regeneration!

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Medical News: Scientists From Spain Discover That Vitamin B12 Plays A Critical Role In Cellular Reprogramming And Tissue Regeneration!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Nov 21, 2023  3 months, 3 days, 11 hours, 1 minute ago
Medical News: In the ever-evolving landscape of medical research, scientists from the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) in Spain have unraveled a groundbreaking revelation about the indispensable role of vitamin B12 in cellular reprogramming and tissue regeneration. While vitamin B12 has long been recognized for its vital contributions to nerve function, red blood cell production, and DNA synthesis, the recent findings led by Dr Manuel Serrano at BIST have elevated its status to a key player in the intricate processes of cellular reprogramming and regeneration.

Vitamin B12's Known Functions
Historically, vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, has been acknowledged for its essential role in maintaining overall health. Its involvement in critical biological processes such as supporting red blood cell production, sustaining nerve function, and facilitating DNA synthesis has been well-documented and covered in various studies and also in various Medical News reports. However, the research spearheaded by Dr Serrano and his team has uncovered a novel aspect of vitamin B12's significance - its pivotal role in cellular reprogramming.
Exploring Cellular Reprogramming
Cellular reprogramming, an experimental process mimicking the early phases of tissue repair, became the focal point of the researchers' investigation. Astonishingly, the team observed that cellular reprogramming in mice consumes substantial amounts of vitamin B12. This depletion emerges as a limiting factor, causing delays and impairments in various aspects of the reprogramming process. What adds a layer of intrigue to these findings is the unexpected observation that simple supplementation of vitamin B12 significantly enhances the efficiency of the reprogramming process.
Therapeutic Implications in Ulcerative Colitis
The researchers, eager to validate their findings, extended their investigations to a model of ulcerative colitis. In this exploration, they demonstrated that the cells involved in intestinal repair, akin to those undergoing cellular reprogramming, also benefit from vitamin B12 supplementation. This revelation carries potential therapeutic implications, hinting at the possibility of using vitamin B12 supplementation to aid patients with intestinal bowel disease in their recovery.
Dr Manuel Serrano emphasizes the promise these findings hold for regenerative medicine, providing a pathway to improve patient outcomes through enhanced nutrition.
Understanding Vitamin B12's Role in Cellular Reprogramming
To unravel the intricacies of vitamin B12's involvement in cellular reprogramming, the researchers delved into the metabolic requirements of this process. They identified vitamin B12 as a limiting factor for a specific branch of metabolism crucial for a reaction known as methylation. During cellular reprogramming or tissue repair, the DNA of the involved cells requires high levels of methylation and, consequently, vitamin B12.
 < ;br /> The researchers found that insufficiency of vitamin B12 during these processes led to significant epigenetic changes. These changes, in turn, resulted in errors in the function of multiple genes. Intriguingly, the supplementation of vitamin B12 rectified this imbalance, enhancing gene function fidelity and overall improving the efficiency of the reprogramming process. Dr Marta Kovatcheva, the first author of the study, underscores the importance of vitamin B12 supplementation in correcting this imbalance and improving reprogramming efficiency.
Connecting Vitamin B12 to Lower Inflammation
The scientific journey led by Dr Serrano's group did not stop there. In collaboration with the University of Barcelona and the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, the researchers explored the connection between vitamin B12 levels and inflammation. Their study unveiled that individuals with higher vitamin B12 levels in their blood exhibited lower levels of inflammatory markers such as IL-6 and CRP. This finding hints at an anti-inflammatory action of vitamin B12, providing valuable insights into its potential health benefits.
Abstract Insights and Discussion
The abstract of the research offers a glimpse into the molecular mechanisms at play during in vivo reprogramming. It emphasizes the role of vitamin B12 in enhancing the efficiency of this process and highlights its impact on histone methylation, particularly H3K36me3. The study underscores the centrality of one-carbon metabolism in driving the demand for vitamin B12 during reprogramming.

The discussion section of the research delves into the role of the gut microbiota in in vivo reprogramming and its subsequent impact on systemic vitamin B12 levels.
The study introduces the therapeutic application of vitamin B12 in a pathological disease model of acute ulcerative colitis, demonstrating its potential to facilitate tissue repair.
Elaborating on Molecular Mechanisms
The researchers further elaborate on the molecular mechanisms at play during in vivo reprogramming. The study indicates that cells undergoing reprogramming experience an elevated demand for vitamin B12. This demand is associated with increased levels of the B12-dependent enzyme MS and increased expression of Cd320, which encodes the cellular vitamin B12 uptake receptor.
MS, functioning to generate methionine (Met), is a crucial player in the one-carbon metabolism pathway. Met is converted into S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), the essential one-carbon (1C) donor for all methylation reactions. The study reveals that SAM is central to the improved reprogramming efficiency imparted by vitamin B12.
Epigenetic Insights
The study provides insights into the epigenetic changes associated with vitamin B12 insufficiency during reprogramming. The researchers found that a deficiency of vitamin B12 resulted in changes in the bulk levels of many histone methylation marks. Notably, there was a failure to properly trimethylate H3K36 at transcribed gene bodies, leading to increased levels of cryptic transcription (CT).
CT, known to have negative impacts on cellular and organismal fitness, compromises the self-renewal capacity of mammalian stem cells. The supplementation of vitamin B12 counteracted these effects, increasing H3K36me3 levels and reducing CT during reprogramming. This was associated with an enhanced transcriptional reprogramming score and an overall increase in reprogramming efficiency.
Microbiota's Role and Therapeutic Applications
Beyond the molecular intricacies, the researchers explored the role of the gut microbiota in in vivo reprogramming. Depletion of the microbiota with broad-spectrum antibiotics profoundly limited reprogramming, indicating its crucial involvement in the process. While supplementation of vitamin B12 partially rescued this limitation, it also hinted at additional roles of the microbiota in driving in vivo reprogramming, potentially through enhancing inflammation, particularly IL-6 production.
The study translates these results into a pathological disease model of acute ulcerative colitis, showcasing the potential therapeutic application of vitamin B12. The researchers demonstrated that vitamin B12 alone could facilitate enhanced colonic tissue repair, offering a novel approach to managing inflammatory bowel diseases.
Future Perspectives
The researchers speculate on the broader implications of their findings. They suggest that induced plasticity, mediated by processes similar to cellular reprogramming, might be conserved across various adult tissues with limited regenerative capacity. This leads to the intriguing possibility that vitamin B12 could play a role in improving repair in diverse settings beyond the scope of the current study.
In conclusion, the research conducted by Dr. Manuel Serrano and his team at BIST has unveiled a previously unrecognized facet of vitamin B12's role in cellular reprogramming and tissue regeneration. This comprehensive exploration not only enhances our understanding of the metabolic intricacies involved but also opens up new vistas for therapeutic interventions. The potential applications of vitamin B12 supplementation, particularly in conditions like ulcerative colitis, present a promising avenue for improving patient outcomes through nutritional strategies. As we delve deeper into the molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications, the discovery from Spain paves the way for advancements in regenerative medicine, organ injury, and repair.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: Nature Metabolism.
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