Colonization of the gut by commensal bacteria modulates the induction of oral tolerance and allergy. However, how these intestinal bacteria modulate antigen-specific T cell responses induced by oral antigens remains unclear. In order to investigate this, we used germ-free (GF) ovalbumin (OVA)-specific T cell receptor transgenic (OVA23-3) mice. Conventional (CV) or GF mice were administered an OVA-containing diet. Cytokine production by CD4(+) cells from spleen (SP), mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and Peyer's patches (PP) was evaluated by ELISA, as was the peripheral antibody titer. T cell phenotype was assessed by flow cytometry. CD4(+) cells from the SP and MLN of CV and GF mice fed an OVA diet for 3 weeks produced significantly less IL-2 than the corresponding cells from mice receiving a control diet, suggesting that oral tolerance could be induced at the T cell level in the systemic and intestinal immune systems of both bacterial condition of mice. However, we also observed that the T cell hyporesponsiveness induced by dietary antigen was delayed in the systemic immune tissues and was weaker in the intestinal immune tissues of the GF mice. Intestinal MLN and PP CD4(+) T cells from these animals also produced lower levels of IL-10, had less activated/memory type CD45RB(low) cells, and expressed lower levels of CTLA-4 but not Foxp3 compared to their CV counterparts. Furthermore, GF mice produced higher serum levels of OVA-specific antibodies than CV animals. CD40L expression by SP CD4(+) cells from GF mice fed OVA was higher than that of CV mice. These results suggest that intestinal commensal bacteria promote T cell hyporesponsiveness and down-regulate serum antibody responses induced by dietary antigens through modulation of the intestinal and systemic T cell phenotype.
"The adult human distal gut contains most of the microbes in our bodies, and is dominated by bacteria in two phyla: Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes (Eckburg et al. 2005). The gut microbiota harvests energy from otherwise indigestible dietary components (Sonnenburg et al. 2005), shapes immune system development (Tsuda et al. 2010; Olszak et al. 2012), and protects against enteropathogen invasion (Bartlett 2002). Mechanisms explaining how this community assembles are poorly understood, although gut microbial communities increase in diversity and stability over time (Palmer et al. 2007; Dominguez-Bello et al. 2011), and early colonizers generally grow rapidly (Vieira-Silva and Rocha 2010) and have high tolerance to stress (Koenig et al. 2011), including oxygen (Stark and Lee 1982). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We lack a deep understanding of genetic and metabolic attributes specializing in microbial consortia for initial and subsequent waves of colonization of our body habitats. Here we show that phylogenetically interspersed bacteria in Clostridium cluster XIVa, an abundant group of bacteria in the adult human gut also known as the Clostridium coccoides or Eubacterium rectale group, contains species that have evolved distribution patterns consistent with either early successional or stable gut communities. The species that specialize to the infant gut are more likely to associate with systemic infections and can reach high abundances in individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), indicating that a subset of the microbiota that have adapted to pioneer/opportunistic lifestyles may do well in both early development and with disease. We identified genes likely selected during adaptation to pioneer/opportunistic lifestyles as those for which early succession association and not phylogenetic relationships explain genomic abundance. These genes reveal potential mechanisms by which opportunistic gut bacteria tolerate osmotic and oxidative stress and potentially important aspects of their metabolism. These genes may not only be biomarkers of properties associated with adaptation to early succession and disturbance, but also leads for developing therapies aimed at promoting reestablishment of stable gut communities following physiologic or pathologic disturbances.
Genome Research 06/2012; 22(10):1974-84. DOI:10.1101/gr.138198.112 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gut microbiota (GM) composition and its impact on animal experiments has become currently dramatically relevant in our days: (1) recent progress in metagenomic technologies, (2) the availability of large scale quantitative analyses to characterize even subtle phenotypes, (3) the limited diversity of laboratory rodent GM due to strict barriers at laboratory animal vendors, and (4) the availability of up to 300.000 different transgenic mouse strains from different sources displaying a huge variety in their GM composition. In this review the GM is described as a variable in animal experiments which need to be reduced for scientific as well as ethical reasons, and strategies how to implement this in routine diagnostic procedures are proposed. We conclude that we have both enough information available to state that the GM has an essential impact on animal models, as well as the methods available to start dealing with these impacts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple mechanisms of tolerance are induced by oral antigen. Low doses favor active suppression, whereas higher doses favor clonal anergy/deletion. Oral antigen induces T-helper 2 [interleukin (IL)-4/IL-10] and Th3 [transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta] T cells plus CD4+CD25+ regulatory cells and latency-associated peptide+ T cells. Induction of oral tolerance is enhanced by IL-4, IL-10, anti-IL-12, TGF-beta, cholera toxin B subunit, Flt-3 ligand, and anti-CD40 ligand. Oral (and nasal) antigen administration suppresses animal models of autoimmune diseases including experimental autoimmune encephalitis, uveitis, thyroiditis, myasthenia, arthritis, and diabetes in the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse, plus non-autoimmune diseases such as asthma, atherosclerosis, graft rejection, allergy, colitis, stroke, and models of Alzheimer's disease. Oral tolerance has been tested in human autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), arthritis, uveitis, and diabetes and in allergy, contact sensitivity to dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB), and nickel allergy. Although positive results have been observed in phase II trials, no effect was observed in phase III trials of CII in rheumatoid arthritis or oral myelin and glatiramer acetate (GA) in MS. Large placebo effects were observed, and new trials of oral GA are underway. Oral insulin has recently been shown to delay onset of diabetes in at-risk populations, and confirmatory trials of oral insulin are being planned. Mucosal tolerance is an attractive approach for treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases because of lack of toxicity, ease of administration over time, and antigen-specific mechanisms of action. The successful application of oral tolerance for the treatment of human diseases will depend on dose, developing immune markers to assess immunologic effects, route (nasal versus oral), formulation, mucosal adjuvants, combination therapy, and early therapy.
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