[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IgA is the most abundant immunoglobulin produced in mammals, and is mostly secreted across mucous membranes. At these frontiers, which are constantly assaulted by pathogenic and commensal microbes, IgA provides part of a layered system of immune protection. In this review, we describe how IgA induction occurs through both T-dependent and T-independent mechanisms, and how IgA is generated against the prodigious load of commensal microbes after mucosal dendritic cells (DCs) have sampled a tiny fraction of the microbial consortia in the intestinal lumen. To function in this hostile environment, IgA must be induced behind the 'firewall' of the mesenteric lymph nodes to generate responses that integrate microbial stimuli, rather than the classical prime-boost effects characteristic of systemic immunity.
Trends in Immunology 03/2012; 33(4):160-7. · 9.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is the main secretory immunoglobulin of mucous membranes and is powerfully induced by the presence of commensal microbes in the intestine. B cells undergo class switch recombination to IgA in the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues, particularly mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) and Peyer's patches, through both T-dependent and T-independent pathways. IgA B cells primed in the mucosa traffic from the intestinal lymphoid structures, initially through the lymphatics and then join the bloodstream, to home back to the intestinal mucosa as IgA-secreting plasma cells. Once induced, anti-bacterial IgA can be extremely long-lived but is replaced if there is induction of additional IgA specificities by other microbes. The mucosal immune system is anatomically separated from the systemic immune system by the MLNs, which act as a firewall to prevent penetration of live intestinal bacteria to systemic sites. Dendritic cells sample intestinal bacteria and induce B cells to switch to IgA. In contrast, intestinal macrophages are adept at killing extracellular bacteria and are able to clear bacteria that have crossed the mucus and epithelial barriers. There is both a continuum between innate and adaptive immune mechanisms and compartmentalization of the mucosal immune system from systemic immunity that function to preserve host microbial mutualism.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Healthy individuals live in peaceful co-existence with an immense load of intestinal bacteria. This symbiosis is advantageous for both the host and the bacteria. For the host it provides access to otherwise undigestible nutrients and colonization resistance against pathogens. In return the bacteria receive an excellent nutrient habitat. The mucosal immune adaptations to the presence of this commensal intestinal microflora are manifold. Although bacterial colonization has clear systemic consequences, such as maturation of the immune system, it is striking that the mutualistic adaptive (T and B cells) and innate immune responses are precisely compartmentalized to the mucosal immune system. Here we summarize the mechanisms of mucosal immune compartmentalization and its importance for a healthy host-microbiota mutualism.
Frontiers in bioscience (Scholar edition) 01/2012; 4:685-98.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The largest mucosal surface in the body is in the gastrointestinal tract, a location that is heavily colonized by microbes that are normally harmless. A key mechanism required for maintaining a homeostatic balance between this microbial burden and the lymphocytes that densely populate the gastrointestinal tract is the production and transepithelial transport of poly-reactive IgA (ref. 1). Within the mucosal tissues, B cells respond to cytokines, sometimes in the absence of T-cell help, undergo class switch recombination of their immunoglobulin receptor to IgA, and differentiate to become plasma cells. However, IgA-secreting plasma cells probably have additional attributes that are needed for coping with the tremendous bacterial load in the gastrointestinal tract. Here we report that mouse IgA(+) plasma cells also produce the antimicrobial mediators tumour-necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and express many molecules that are commonly associated with monocyte/granulocytic cell types. The development of iNOS-producing IgA(+) plasma cells can be recapitulated in vitro in the presence of gut stroma, and the acquisition of this multifunctional phenotype in vivo and in vitro relies on microbial co-stimulation. Deletion of TNF-α and iNOS in B-lineage cells resulted in a reduction in IgA production, altered diversification of the gut microbiota and poor clearance of a gut-tropic pathogen. These findings reveal a novel adaptation to maintaining homeostasis in the gut, and extend the repertoire of protective responses exhibited by some B-lineage cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The intestinal microbiota regulates key host functions. It is unknown whether modulation of the microbiota can affect a genetically determined host phenotype. Polymorphisms in the Nucleotide oligomerization domain (Nod)-like receptor family confer genetic risk for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We investigated whether the intestinal microbiota and the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium breve NCC2950 affect intestinal barrier function and responses to intestinal injury in Nod1(-/-); Nod2(-/-) mice.
Specific pathogen-free (SPF) Nod1(-/-); Nod2(-/-) mice and mice gnotobiotically derived with altered Schaedler flora (ASF) biota were used. SPF Nod1(+/-); Nod2(+/-) littermates (generated by crossing SPF Nod1(-/-); Nod2(-/-) and germ-free C57BL/6 mice) and ASF Nod1(+/-); Nod2(+/-) mice were used as controls. SPF mice were gavaged daily with 10(9) -CFU B. breve for 14 days before colitis induction. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used to assess microbiota composition. Intestinal permeability was assessed by in vitro and in vivo techniques. Expressions of epithelial apical junction proteins, mucin, and antimicrobial proteins were assessed by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) and immunofluorescence. Responses to intestinal injury were investigated using an acute experimental model of colitis.
Under SPF conditions, Nod1(-/-); Nod2(-/-) mice had increased paracellular permeability, decreased E-cadherin, and lower colonic antimicrobial RegIII-γ expression compared to Nod1(+/-); Nod2(+/-) littermate controls. These changes were associated with increased susceptibility to colitis. ASF colonization or B. breve supplementation normalized RegIII-γ expression and decreased susceptibility to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) colitis in Nod1(-/-); Nod2(-/-) mice.
The intestinal microbiota influences colitis severity in Nod1(-/-); Nod2(-/-) mice. The results suggest that colonization strategies with defined commensals or exogenous specific probiotic therapy may prevent intestinal inflammation in a genetically predisposed host.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a systems biology approach, we discovered and dissected a three-way interaction between the immune system, the intestinal epithelium and the microbiota. We found that, in the absence of B cells, or of IgA, and in the presence of the microbiota, the intestinal epithelium launches its own protective mechanisms, upregulating interferon-inducible immune response pathways and simultaneously repressing Gata4-related metabolic functions. This shift in intestinal function leads to lipid malabsorption and decreased deposition of body fat. Network analysis revealed the presence of two interconnected epithelial-cell gene networks, one governing lipid metabolism and another regulating immunity, that were inversely expressed. Gene expression patterns in gut biopsies from individuals with common variable immunodeficiency or with HIV infection and intestinal malabsorption were very similar to those of the B cell-deficient mice, providing a possible explanation for a longstanding enigmatic association between immunodeficiency and defective lipid absorption in humans.
Nature medicine 11/2011; 17(12):1585-93. · 27.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How a mutualistic relationship between the intestinal microbiota and intestinal T cell compartments is established is important, as a breakdown of intestinal T cell homeostasis may cause inflammatory bowel diseases. A number of studies have shown that different bacterial species modulate the intestinal CD4(+) T cell compartment in different ways. We performed mechanistic in vivo studies that demonstrated the crucial requirement for regulatory T cells (Treg) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) in the induction of intestinal T cell homeostasis even following colonization with a completely benign microbiota. In the absence of a functional Treg response or IL-10 receptor signaling, the same bacteria that induced a Treg response in wild-type animals now induced T helper type 17 responses, without intestinal inflammation. Therefore, Treg, IL-10 and Th17 are crucial regulatory mechanisms in the intestine not only for controlling inflammation, but also to establish a continuum of CD4(+) T cell homeostasis upon commensal colonization.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, the Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution sponsored a one-day symposium entitled "Wild Immunology." The CIIE is a new Wellcome Trust-funded initiative with the remit to connect evolutionary biology and ecology with research in immunology and infectious diseases in order to gain an interdisciplinary perspective on challenges to global health. The central question of the symposium was, "Why should we try to understand infection and immunity in wild systems?" Specifically, how does the immune response operate in the wild and how do multiple coinfections and commensalism affect immune responses and host health in these wild systems? The symposium brought together a broad program of speakers, ranging from laboratory immunologists to infectious disease ecologists, working on wild birds, unmanaged animals, wild and laboratory rodents, and on questions ranging from the dynamics of coinfection to how commensal bacteria affect the development of the immune system. The meeting on wild immunology, organized by Amy Pedersen, Simon Babayan, and Rick Maizels, was held at the University of Edinburgh on 30 June 2011.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 10/2011; 1236:17-29. · 4.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The review summarizes the recent progress that has been made in understanding the function of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in promoting a healthy mutualism with the commensal microbiota and protecting against pathogens. Although IgA is by far the most abundant antibody produced by mammals, direct experimental evidence for its function is still lacking.
IgA is the predominant antibody induced in response to intestinal colonization with commensal bacteria: even fish have been shown to have a mucosal immunoglobulin (IgT), which is produced in the mucosa and coats commensals in the intestinal lumen. Recent studies indicate that intestinal IgA can be highly specific to the inducing commensals. Priming of IgA also appears to be a long-lasting response dependent on the overall dose (integral) of the bacteria sampled rather than exhibiting prime-boost effects normally observed with systemic immunoglobulin responses. Not only is human IgA highly mutated, but a mouse model with deficient hypermutation but intact class-switch recombination also shows that this mutation process (presumably leading to better anticommensal affinities) is important for IgA protection at the mucosal surface. It has been shown that some IgA can be induced independently of T cells through stimulation by epithelial cell and plasmacytoid dendritic cell cytokines including BAFF and APRIL, although the relative roles of the T-dependent and T-independent IgA pathways in generating mucosal protection are still unclear.
Protection at mucosal surfaces through the secretion of antibodies is a phylogenetically ancient function. Mammals can produce high and low-affinity IgA against their commensal microbes via T-cell-dependent and T-cell-independent pathways to contribute to host microbial mutualism. The process of improving IgA affinity to intestinal luminal contents through somatic hypermutation of immunoglobulin genes improves the level of protection at the mucosal surface and such mutations are abundant in human IgA sequences.
Current opinion in gastroenterology 09/2011; 27(6):529-33. · 4.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Celiac disease (CD) is frequently diagnosed in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D), and T1D patients can exhibit Abs against tissue transglutaminase, the auto-antigen in CD. Thus, gliadin, the trigger in CD, has been suggested to have a role in T1D pathogenesis. The objective of this study was to investigate whether gliadin contributes to enteropathy and insulitis in NOD-DQ8 mice, an animal model that does not spontaneously develop T1D. Gliadin-sensitized NOD-DQ8 mice developed moderate enteropathy, intraepithelial lymphocytosis, and barrier dysfunction, but not insulitis. Administration of anti-CD25 mAbs before gliadin-sensitization induced partial depletion of CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells and led to severe insulitis, but did not exacerbate mucosal dysfunction. CD4(+) T cells isolated from pancreatic lymph nodes of mice that developed insulitis showed increased proliferation and proinflammatory cytokines after incubation with gliadin but not with BSA. CD4(+) T cells isolated from nonsensitized controls did not response to gliadin or BSA. In conclusion, gliadin sensitization induced moderate enteropathy in NOD-DQ8 mice. However, insulitis development required gliadin-sensitization and partial systemic depletion of CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells. This humanized murine model provides a mechanistic link to explain how the mucosal intolerance to a dietary protein can lead to insulitis in the presence of partial regulatory T cell deficiency.
The Journal of Immunology 09/2011; 187(8):4338-46. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: B cell activation factor of the TNF family (BAFF) is a potent B cell survival factor. BAFF overexpressing transgenic mice (BAFF-Tg mice) exhibit features of autoimmune disease, including B cell hyperplasia and hypergammaglobulinemia, and develop fatal nephritis with age. However, basal serum IgA levels are also elevated, suggesting that the pathology in these mice may be more complex than initially appreciated. Consistent with this, we demonstrate here that BAFF-Tg mice have mesangial deposits of IgA along with high circulating levels of polymeric IgA that is aberrantly glycosylated. Renal disease in BAFF-Tg mice was associated with IgA, because serum IgA was highly elevated in nephritic mice and BAFF-Tg mice with genetic deletion of IgA exhibited less renal pathology. The presence of commensal flora was essential for the elevated serum IgA phenotype, and, unexpectedly, commensal bacteria-reactive IgA antibodies were found in the blood. These data illustrate how excess B cell survival signaling perturbs the normal balance with the microbiota, leading to a breach in the normal mucosal-peripheral compartmentalization. Such breaches may predispose the nonmucosal system to certain immune diseases. Indeed, we found that a subset of patients with IgA nephropathy had elevated serum levels of a proliferation inducing ligand (APRIL), a cytokine related to BAFF. These parallels between BAFF-Tg mice and human IgA nephropathy may provide a new framework to explore connections between mucosal environments and renal pathology.
The Journal of clinical investigation 09/2011; 121(10):3991-4002. · 15.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mammals harbor a dense commensal microbiota in the colon. Regulatory T (Treg) cells are known to limit microbe-triggered intestinal inflammation and the CD4+ T cell compartment is shaped by the presence of particular microbes or bacterial compounds. It is, however, difficult to distinguish whether these effects reflect true mutualistic immune adaptation to intestinal colonization or rather idiosyncratic immune responses. To investigate truly mutualistic CD4+ T cell adaptation, we used the altered Schaedler flora (ASF). Intestinal colonization resulted in activation and de novo generation of colonic Treg cells. Failure to activate Treg cells resulted in the induction of T helper 17 (Th17) and Th1 cell responses, which was reversed by wild-type Treg cells. Efficient Treg cell induction was also required to maintain intestinal homeostasis upon dextran sulfate sodium-mediated damage in the colon. Thus, microbiota colonization-induced Treg cell responses are a fundamental intrinsic mechanism to induce and maintain host-intestinal microbial T cell mutualism.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background & AimsAlterations in the microbial composition of the gastrointestinal tract (dysbiosis) are believed to contribute to inflammatory and functional bowel disorders and psychiatric comorbidities. We examined whether the intestinal microbiota affects behavior and brain biochemistry in mice.Methods
Specific pathogen–free (SPF) BALB/c mice, with or without subdiaphragmatic vagotomy or chemical sympathectomy, or germ-free BALB/c mice received a mixture of nonabsorbable antimicrobials (neomycin, bacitracin, and pimaricin) in their drinking water for 7 days. Germ-free BALB/c and NIH Swiss mice were colonized with microbiota from SPF NIH Swiss or BALB/c mice. Behavior was evaluated using step-down and light preference tests. Gastrointestinal microbiota were assessed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing. Gut samples were analyzed by histologic, myeloperoxidase, and cytokine analyses; levels of serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.ResultsAdministration of oral antimicrobials to SPF mice transiently altered the composition of the microbiota and increased exploratory behavior and hippocampal expression of BDNF. These changes were independent of inflammatory activity, changes in levels of gastrointestinal neurotransmitters, and vagal or sympathetic integrity. Intraperitoneal administration of antimicrobials to SPF mice or oral administration to germ-free mice did not affect behavior. Colonization of germ-free BALB/c mice with microbiota from NIH Swiss mice increased exploratory behavior and hippocampal levels of BDNF, whereas colonization of germ-free NIH Swiss mice with BALB/c microbiota reduced exploratory behavior.Conclusions
The intestinal microbiota influences brain chemistry and behavior independently of the autonomic nervous system, gastrointestinal-specific neurotransmitters, or inflammation. Intestinal dysbiosis might contribute to psychiatric disorders in patients with bowel disorders.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inappropriate cross talk between mammals and their gut microbiota may trigger intestinal inflammation and drive extra-intestinal immune-mediated diseases. Epithelial cells constitute the interface between gut microbiota and host tissue, and may regulate host responses to commensal enteric bacteria. Gnotobiotic animals represent a powerful approach to study bacterial-host interaction but are not readily accessible to the wide scientific community. We aimed at refining a protocol that in a robust manner would deplete the cultivable intestinal microbiota of conventionally raised mice and that would prove to have significant biologic validity.
Previously published protocols for depleting mice of their intestinal microbiota by administering broad-spectrum antibiotics in drinking water were difficult to reproduce. We show that twice daily delivery of antibiotics by gavage depleted mice of their cultivable fecal microbiota and reduced the fecal bacterial DNA load by 400 fold while ensuring the animals' health. Mice subjected to the protocol for 17 days displayed enlarged ceca, reduced Peyer's patches and small spleens. Antibiotic treatment significantly reduced the expression of antimicrobial factors to a level similar to that of germ-free mice and altered the expression of 517 genes in total in the colonic epithelium. Genes involved in cell cycle were significantly altered concomitant with reduced epithelial proliferative activity in situ assessed by Ki-67 expression, suggesting that commensal microbiota drives cellular proliferation in colonic epithelium.
We present a robust protocol for depleting conventionally raised mice of their cultivatable intestinal microbiota with antibiotics by gavage and show that the biological effect of this depletion phenocopies physiological characteristics of germ-free mice.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(3):e17996. · 3.73 Impact Factor