July 24, 2024

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Vitamin B12 Identified as Crucial for Tissue Repair and Cellular Plasticity

Vitamin B12 Identified as Crucial for Tissue Repair and Cellular Plasticity

Vitamin B12 Identified as Crucial for Tissue Repair and Cellular Plasticity

A cost-effective vitamin proves effective in repairing damaged tissues, keeping the body youthful!

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin due to its inclusion of the metal element “cobalt,” is a well-known essential nutrient.

Published on November 16, 2023, in the journal “Nature Metabolism,” an article titled “Vitamin B12 is a limiting factor for induced cellular plasticity and tissue repair” reveals the critical role of Vitamin B12 in enhancing the efficiency of in vivo reprogramming and tissue repair through its key involvement in carbon metabolism and epigenetic dynamics.

Vitamin B12 Identified as Crucial for Tissue Repair and Cellular Plasticity

To investigate the regulators of in vivo reprogramming, researchers utilized a mouse model involving the induction of OSKM expression through potent mold exposure.

Within a short period (7 days), OSKM induction resulted in abnormal tissue structures, particularly in the pancreas, colon, and stomach, associated with rare NANOG-positive cells (embryonic pluripotency markers).

The study employed a broad-spectrum antibiotic mixture (ABX) – ampicillin, metronidazole, neomycin, and vancomycin – to explore the importance of the microbiome in in vivo reprogramming. Interestingly, mice treated with ABX exhibited a significant reduction in reprogramming efficacy in the colon and stomach.

Surprisingly, despite strong transgenic induction, reprogramming effects in the colon and stomach of ABX-treated mice were markedly diminished. The reduction in SCA1-positive and KRT14-positive cell numbers further indicated a decrease in reprogramming during early and late stages.

Consistent with lower reprogramming levels, ABX-treated mice showed more substantial weight loss compared to mice with normal reprogramming levels.

These findings underscore the crucial role of the microbiome in successful in vivo tissue reprogramming.

The study employed a whole-genome approach to study changes in bacterial species abundance, revealing that microbiota gene modules related to cobalamin (Vitamin B12) biosynthesis and metabolism dominate the bacterial gene ontology (GO) group altered during reprogramming.

During reprogramming, serum Vitamin B12 levels decreased significantly after seven days of potent mold exposure in OSKM mice. Notably, in the mouse model used, the kidneys were identified as another challenging organ for reprogramming, with a significant consumption of proximal tubule Vitamin B12 observed during reprogramming.

As the kidneys serve as a primary site for B12 concentration and storage in rodents, the release of B12 from the kidneys to other organs occurs when the body lacks it.

Therefore, the authors hypothesized that supplementing B12 could enhance reprogramming under normal conditions (i.e., in the absence of ABX). Results confirmed that supplementing Vitamin B12 significantly improved in vivo reprogramming in the pancreas, colon, and stomach.

In summary, this study reveals that OSKM reprogramming in mice leads to comprehensive Vitamin B12 depletion, and supplementing Vitamin B12 enhances the efficiency of mouse and cultured cell reprogramming. These findings suggest a crucial role for Vitamin B12 in cellular reprogramming and tissue repair, offering new hope for regenerative medicine.

Frontiers in Vitamin B12 Research

  1. Therapeutic Potential of B12 for Ulcerative Colitis: Researchers validated their findings in an ulcerative colitis model, demonstrating that intestinal cells initiating repair processes undergo a process similar to cellular reprogramming and benefit from Vitamin B12 supplementation. Patients with intestinal diseases may benefit from supplementing Vitamin B12.

  2. Understanding the Role of B12 in Cellular Reprogramming: In this study, researchers delved into the metabolic requirements of cellular reprogramming, identifying Vitamin B12 as a limiting factor for a specific metabolic reaction, namely methylation. The study showed that insufficient Vitamin B12 during reprogramming leads to significant epigenetic changes, affecting multiple gene functions. Supplementing Vitamin B12 corrected this imbalance, enhancing gene function fidelity and overall reprogramming efficiency.

  3. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Vitamin B12: Collaborating with Dr. Rosa Lamuela-Raventós’ laboratory, Dr. Manuel Serrano’s team recently published a study revealing that individuals with higher blood levels of Vitamin B12 exhibit lower levels of inflammatory markers IL-6 and CRP. Similar connections were observed in elderly mice, suggesting that Vitamin B12’s anti-inflammatory effects contribute to potential health benefits.

Vitamin B12 Identified as Crucial for Tissue Repair and Cellular Plasticity


  • Original Research: Nature Metabolism Article
  • Marta Kovatcheva et al, “Vitamin B12 is a limiting factor for induced cellular plasticity and tissue repair,” Nature Metabolism (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s42255-023-00916-6

(source:internet, reference only)

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