Specific microbiota direct the differentiation of IL-17-producing T-helper cells in the mucosa of the small intestine.
ABSTRACT: The requirements for in vivo steady state differentiation of IL-17-producing T-helper (Th17) cells, which are potent inflammation effectors, remain obscure. We report that Th17 cell differentiation in the lamina propria (LP) of the small intestine requires specific commensal microbiota and is inhibited by treating mice with selective antibiotics. Mice from different sources had marked differences in their Th17 cell numbers and animals lacking Th17 cells acquired them after introduction of bacteria from Th17 cell-sufficient mice. Differentiation of Th17 cells correlated with the presence of cytophaga-flavobacter-bacteroidetes (CFB) bacteria in the intestine and was independent of toll-like receptor, IL-21 or IL-23 signaling, but required appropriate TGF-beta activation. Absence of Th17 cell-inducing bacteria was accompanied by increase in Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Treg) in the LP. Our results suggest that composition of intestinal microbiota regulates the Th17:Treg balance in the LP and may thus influence intestinal immunity, tolerance, and susceptibility to inflammatory bowel diseases.
Project description:IL-17-expressing CD4+ T lymphocytes (Th17 cells) naturally reside in the intestine where specific cytokines and microbiota, such as segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB), promote their differentiation. Intestinal Th17 cells are thought to initially differentiate in the GALT and/or mesenteric lymph nodes upon Ag encounter and subsequently home to the lamina propria (LP) where they mediate effector functions. However, whether GALT and/or mesenteric lymph nodes are required for intestinal Th17 differentiation as well as how microbiota containing SFB regulate Ag-specific intestinal Th17 cells remain poorly defined. In this study, we observed that naive CD4+ T cells were abundant in the intestinal LP prior to weaning and that the accumulation of Th17 cells in response to microbiota containing SFB occurred in the absence of lymphotoxin-dependent lymphoid structures and the spleen. Furthermore, the differentiation of intestinal Th17 cells in the presence of microbiota containing SFB was dependent on MHC class II expression by CD11c+ cells. Lastly, the differentiation of Ag-specific Th17 cells required both the presence of cognate Ag and microbiota containing SFB. These findings suggest that microbiota containing SFB create an intestinal milieu that may induce Ag-specific Th17 differentiation against food and/or bacterial Ags directly in the intestinal LP.
Project description:Intestinal dysbiosis, characterized by a reduced Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio, has been reported in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. In this study, in vitro cultures revealed that microbiota isolated from SLE patient stool samples (SLE-M) promoted lymphocyte activation and Th17 differentiation from naïve CD4(+) lymphocytes to a greater extent than healthy control-microbiota. Enrichment of SLE-M with Treg-inducing bacteria showed that a mixture of two Clostridia strains significantly reduced the Th17/Th1 balance, whereas Bifidobacterium bifidum supplementation prevented CD4(+) lymphocyte over-activation, thus supporting a possible therapeutic benefit of probiotics containing Treg-inducer strains in order to restore the Treg/Th17/Th1 imbalance present in SLE. In fact, ex vivo analyses of patient samples showed enlarged Th17 and Foxp3(+) IL-17(+) populations, suggesting a possible Treg-Th17 trans-differentiation. Moreover, analyses of fecal microbiota revealed a negative correlation between IL-17(+) populations and Firmicutes in healthy controls, whereas in SLE this phylum correlated directly with serum levels of IFN?, a Th1 cytokine slightly reduced in patients. Finally, the frequency of Synergistetes, positively correlated with the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio in healthy controls, tended to be reduced in patients when anti-dsDNA titers were increased and showed a strong negative correlation with IL-6 serum levels and correlated positively with protective natural IgM antibodies against phosphorylcholine.
Project description:Despite studies indicating the effects of IL-21 signaling in intestinal inflammation, its roles in intestinal homeostasis and infection are not yet clear. Here, we report potent effects of commensal microbiota on the phenotypic manifestations of IL-21 receptor deficiency. IL-21 is produced highly in the small intestine and appears to be critical for mounting an IgA response against atypical commensals such as segmented filamentous bacteria and Helicobacter, but not to the majority of commensals. In the presence of these atypical commensals, IL-21R-deficient mice exhibit reduced numbers of germinal center and IgA+ B cells and expression of activation-induced cytidine deaminase in Peyer's patches as well as a significant decrease in small intestine IgA+ plasmablasts and plasma cells, leading to higher bacterial burdens and subsequent expansion of Th17 and Treg cells. These microbiota-mediated secondary changes in turn enhance T cell responses to an oral antigen and strikingly dampen Citrobacter rodentium-induced immunopathology, demonstrating a complex interplay between IL-21-mediated mucosal immunity, microbiota, and pathogens.
Project description:It has been shown that while commensal bacteria promote Th1, Th17 and Treg cells in lamina propria (LP) in steady-state conditions, they suppress mucosal Th2 cells. However, it is still unclear whether there are specific commensal organisms down-regulating Th2 responses, and the mechanism involved. Here we demonstrate that commensal A4 bacteria, a member of the Lachnospiraceae family, which produce an immunodominant microbiota CBir1 antigen, inhibits LP Th2-cell development. When transferred into the intestines of RAG(-/-) mice, CBir1-specific T cells developed predominately towards Th1 cells and Th17 cells, but to a lesser extent into Th2 cells. The addition of A4 bacterial lysates to CD4(+) T-cell cultures inhibited production of IL-4. A4 bacteria stimulated dendritic cell production of TGF-?, and blockade of TGF-? abrogated A4 bacteria inhibition of Th2-cell development in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, our data show that A4 bacteria inhibit Th2-cell differentiation by inducing dendritic cell production of TGF-?.
Project description:Commensal microbiota promote mucosal tolerance in part by engaging regulatory T (Treg) cells via Toll-like receptors (TLRs). We report that Treg-cell-specific deletion of the TLR adaptor MyD88 resulted in deficiency of intestinal Treg cells, a reciprocal increase in T helper 17 (Th17) cells and heightened interleukin-17 (IL-17)-dependent inflammation in experimental colitis. It also precipitated dysbiosis with overgrowth of segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) and increased microbial loads in deep tissues. The Th17 cell dysregulation and bacterial dysbiosis were linked to impaired anti-microbial intestinal IgA responses, related to defective MyD88 adaptor- and Stat3 transcription factor-dependent T follicular regulatory and helper cell differentiation in the Peyer's patches. These findings establish an essential role for MyD88-dependent microbial sensing by Treg cells in enforcing mucosal tolerance and maintaining commensalism by promoting intestinal Treg cell formation and anti-commensal IgA responses.
Project description:This study focuses on characterizing the effect of a high salt diet (HSD) on intestinal immunity and the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). We found that mice on a HSD had an increased frequency of IL-17A producing cells in the intestinal lamina propria (LP) compared to mice on a normal diet (ND). Furthermore, most intestinal IL-17A producing cells were CD4+TCR?+ cells. A HSD increased the LP T helper 17 (Th17) responses in both the small and large intestines but did not increase the Th17 response of other gut-associated lymphoid organ. Although, HSD did not change the percentage of regulatory T (Treg) cells, HSD significantly inhibit secretion of IL-10 and the suppressive function of Treg cells. Moreover, we found that HSD exacerbates trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) induced colitis, and Th17 response was significantly increased in the colonic LP of HSD TNBS-treated mice compared with the ND TNBS-treated mice. This study demonstrates that HSD stimulates the intestinal Th17 response but inhibits the function of Treg cells. Moreover, HSD exacerbates TNBS induced mice colitis, suggesting that HSD disrupts the intestinal immunity and increases the risk of IBD.
Project description:Both microbial and host genetic factors contribute to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. There is accumulating evidence that microbial species that potentiate chronic inflammation, as in inflammatory bowel disease, often also colonize healthy individuals. These microorganisms, including the Helicobacter species, can induce pathogenic T cells and are collectively referred to as pathobionts. However, how such T cells are constrained in healthy individuals is not yet understood. Here we report that host tolerance to a potentially pathogenic bacterium, Helicobacter hepaticus, is mediated by the induction of ROR?t+FOXP3+ regulatory T (iTreg) cells that selectively restrain pro-inflammatory T helper 17 (TH17) cells and whose function is dependent on the transcription factor c-MAF. Whereas colonization of wild-type mice by H. hepaticus promoted differentiation of ROR?t-expressing microorganism-specific iTreg cells in the large intestine, in disease-susceptible IL-10-deficient mice, there was instead expansion of colitogenic TH17 cells. Inactivation of c-MAF in the Treg cell compartment impaired differentiation and function, including IL-10 production, of bacteria-specific iTreg cells, and resulted in the accumulation of H. hepaticus-specific inflammatory TH17 cells and spontaneous colitis. By contrast, ROR?t inactivation in Treg cells had only a minor effect on the bacteria-specific Treg and TH17 cell balance, and did not result in inflammation. Our results suggest that pathobiont-dependent inflammatory bowel disease is driven by microbiota-reactive T cells that have escaped this c-MAF-dependent mechanism of iTreg-TH17 homeostasis.
Project description:Th17 cells play a role as an inflammation mediator in a variety of autoimmune disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease, and thus are widely considered to be pathogenic. However, Th17 cells are present in the normal intestine and show a homeostatic phenotype; that is, they participate in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis rather than inducing inflammation. We observed an enlarged Th17 population in the small intestine of C57BL/6.IgA-/- mice compared with wild-type mice, which was further amplified with cholera toxin (CT) immunization without causing intestinal inflammation. The increased Th17 induction and the correspondingly 10-fold higher CT B subunit-specific serum IgG response in IgA-/- mice after CT immunization was microbiota dependent and was associated with increased segmented filamentous bacteria in the small intestine of IgA-/- mice. Oral administration of vancomycin greatly dampened both CT immunogenicity and adjuvanticity, and the differential CT responses in IgA-/- and wild-type mice disappeared after intestinal microbiota equalization. Using gnotobiotic mouse models, we found that CT induction of homeostatic intestinal Th17 responses was supported not only by segmented filamentous bacteria, but also by other commensal bacteria. Furthermore, transcriptome analysis using IL-17AhCD2 reporter mice revealed a similar gene expression profile in CT-induced intestinal Th17 cells and endogenous intestinal Th17 cells at homeostasis, with upregulated expression of a panel of immune-regulatory genes, which was distinctly different from the gene expression profile of pathogenic Th17 cells. Taken together, we identified a nonpathogenic signature of intestinal homeostatic Th17 cells, which are actively regulated by the commensal microbiota and can be selectively stimulated by CT.
Project description:Elevated levels of interleukin-18 (IL-18) are found in many chronic inflammatory disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and polymorphisms in the IL18R1-IL18RAP locus are associated with IBD susceptibility. IL-18 is an IL-1 family cytokine that has been proposed to promote barrier function in the intestine, but the effects of IL-18 on intestinal CD4(+) T cells are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that IL-18R1 expression is enhanced on both effector and regulatory CD4(+) T cells in the intestinal lamina propria, with T helper type 17 (Th17) cells exhibiting particularly high levels. We further show that, during steady state, intestinal epithelial cells constitutively secrete IL-18 that acts directly on IL-18R1-expressing CD4(+) T cells to limit colonic Th17 cell differentiation, in part by antagonizing IL-1R1 signaling. In addition, although IL-18R1 is not required for colonic Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cell differentiation, we found that IL-18R1 signaling was critical for Foxp3(+) Treg cell-mediated control of intestinal inflammation, where it promoted the expression of key Treg effector molecules. Thus IL-18 is a key epithelial-derived cytokine that differentially regulates distinct subsets of intestinal CD4(+) T cells during both homeostatic and inflammatory conditions, a finding with potential implications for treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders.
Project description:How commensal microbiota contributes to immune cell homeostasis at barrier surfaces is poorly understood. Lamina propria (LP) T helper 17 (Th17) cells participate in mucosal protection and are induced by commensal segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB). Here we show that MHCII-dependent antigen presentation of SFB antigens by intestinal dendritic cells (DCs) is crucial for Th17 cell induction. Expression of MHCII on CD11c(+) cells was necessary and sufficient for SFB-induced Th17 cell differentiation. Most SFB-induced Th17 cells recognized SFB in an MHCII-dependent manner. SFB primed and induced Th17 cells locally in the LP and Th17 cell induction occurred normally in mice lacking secondary lymphoid organs. The importance of other innate cells was unveiled by the finding that MHCII deficiency in group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) resulted in an increase in SFB-independent Th17 cell differentiation. Our results outline the complex role of DCs and ILCs in the regulation of intestinal Th17 cell homeostasis.