Metabolites produced by commensal bacteria promote peripheral regulatory T-cell generation.
ABSTRACT: Intestinal microbes provide multicellular hosts with nutrients and confer resistance to infection. The delicate balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory mechanisms, essential for gut immune homeostasis, is affected by the composition of the commensal microbial community. Regulatory T cells (Treg cells) expressing transcription factor Foxp3 have a key role in limiting inflammatory responses in the intestine. Although specific members of the commensal microbial community have been found to potentiate the generation of anti-inflammatory Treg or pro-inflammatory T helper 17 (TH17) cells, the molecular cues driving this process remain elusive. Considering the vital metabolic function afforded by commensal microorganisms, we reasoned that their metabolic by-products are sensed by cells of the immune system and affect the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cells. We tested this hypothesis by exploring the effect of microbial metabolites on the generation of anti-inflammatory Treg cells. We found that in mice a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA), butyrate, produced by commensal microorganisms during starch fermentation, facilitated extrathymic generation of Treg cells. A boost in Treg-cell numbers after provision of butyrate was due to potentiation of extrathymic differentiation of Treg cells, as the observed phenomenon was dependent on intronic enhancer CNS1 (conserved non-coding sequence 1), essential for extrathymic but dispensable for thymic Treg-cell differentiation. In addition to butyrate, de novo Treg-cell generation in the periphery was potentiated by propionate, another SCFA of microbial origin capable of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition, but not acetate, which lacks this HDAC-inhibitory activity. Our results suggest that bacterial metabolites mediate communication between the commensal microbiota and the immune system, affecting the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
Project description:Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are produced by microbial fermentation of dietary fiber in the gut. Butyrate is a particularly important SCFA with anti-inflammatory properties and is generally present at lower levels in inflammatory diseases associated with gut microbiota dysbiosis in mammals. We aimed to determine if SCFAs are produced by the zebrafish microbiome and if SCFAs exert conserved effects on zebrafish immunity as an example of the non-mammalian vertebrate immune system. We demonstrate that bacterial communities from adult zebrafish intestines synthesize all three main SCFA <i>in vitro</i>, although SCFA were below our detectable limits in zebrafish intestines <i>in vivo</i>. Immersion in butyrate, but not acetate or propionate, reduced the recruitment of neutrophils and M1-type pro-inflammatory macrophages to wounds. We found conservation of butyrate sensing by neutrophils via orthologs of the <i>hydroxycarboxylic acid receptor 1</i> (<i>hcar1</i>) gene. Neutrophils from Hcar1-depleted embryos were no longer responsive to the anti-inflammatory effects of butyrate, while macrophage sensitivity to butyrate was independent of Hcar1. Our data demonstrate conservation of anti-inflammatory butyrate effects and identify the presence of a conserved molecular receptor in fish.
Project description:Gut microbiota composition influences the clinical benefit of immune checkpoints in patients with advanced cancer but mechanisms underlying this relationship remain unclear. Molecular mechanism whereby gut microbiota influences immune responses is mainly assigned to gut microbial metabolites. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are produced in large amounts in the colon through bacterial fermentation of dietary fiber. We evaluate in mice and in patients treated with anti-CTLA-4 blocking mAbs whether SCFA levels is related to clinical outcome. High blood butyrate and propionate levels are associated with resistance to CTLA-4 blockade and higher proportion of Treg cells. In mice, butyrate restrains anti-CTLA-4-induced up-regulation of CD80/CD86 on dendritic cells and ICOS on T cells, accumulation of tumor-specific T cells and memory T cells. In patients, high blood butyrate levels moderate ipilimumab-induced accumulation of memory and ICOS?+?CD4?+?T cells and IL-2 impregnation. Altogether, these results suggest that SCFA limits anti-CTLA-4 activity.
Project description:Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is known to significantly increase the risk for development of colorectal cancer (CRC), suggesting inflammation and cancer development are closely intertwined. Thus, agents that suppress inflammation may prevent the onset of cancer. In the current study, we used resveratrol, an anti-inflammatory stilbenoid, to study the role of microbiota in preventing inflammation-driven CRC. Resveratrol treatment in the azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) CRC murine model caused an increase in anti-inflammatory CD4 + FOXP3 + (Tregs) and CD4 + IL10 + cells, a decrease in proinflammatory Th1 and Th17 cells, and attenuated CRC development. Gut microbial profile studies demonstrated that resveratrol altered the gut microbiome and short chain fatty acid (SCFA), with modest increases in n-butyric acid and a potential butyrate precursor isobutyric acid. Fecal transfer from resveratrol-treated CRC mice and butyrate supplementation resulted in attenuation of disease and suppression of the inflammatory T cell response. Data also revealed both resveratrol and sodium butyrate (BUT) were capable of inhibiting histone deacetylases (HDACs), correlating with Treg induction. Analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets revealed increased expression of Treg-specific transcription factor FoxP3 or anti-inflammatory IL-10 resulted in an increase in 5-year survival of patients with CRC. These data suggest that alterations in the gut microbiome lead to an anti-inflammatory T cell response, leading to attenuation of inflammation-driven CRC.
Project description:Intestinal health relies on the immunosuppressive activity of CD4+ regulatory T (Treg) cells1. Expression of the transcription factor Foxp3 defines this lineage, and can be induced extrathymically by dietary or commensal-derived antigens in a process assisted by a Foxp3 enhancer known as conserved non-coding sequence 1 (CNS1)2-4. Products of microbial fermentation including butyrate facilitate the generation of peripherally induced Treg (pTreg) cells5-7, indicating that metabolites shape the composition of the colonic immune cell population. In addition to dietary components, bacteria modify host-derived molecules, generating a number of biologically active substances. This is epitomized by the bacterial transformation of bile acids, which creates a complex pool of steroids8 with a range of physiological functions9. Here we screened the major species of deconjugated bile acids for their ability to potentiate the differentiation of pTreg cells. We found that the secondary bile acid 3?-hydroxydeoxycholic acid (isoDCA) increased Foxp3 induction by acting on dendritic cells (DCs) to diminish their immunostimulatory properties. Ablating one receptor, the farnesoid X receptor, in DCs enhanced the generation of Treg cells and imposed a transcriptional profile similar to that induced by isoDCA, suggesting an interaction between this bile acid and nuclear receptor. To investigate isoDCA in vivo, we took a synthetic biology approach and designed minimal microbial consortia containing engineered Bacteroides strains. IsoDCA-producing consortia increased the number of colonic ROR?t-expressing Treg cells in a CNS1-dependent manner, suggesting enhanced extrathymic differentiation.
Project description:Mahuang Fuzi Xixin Decoction (MFXD), a Chinese traditional herbal formulation, has been used to treat allergic rhinitis (AR) in China for centuries. However, the mechanism underlying its effect on AR is unclear. This study investigated the mechanism underlying the therapeutic effects of MFXD on AR. Ovalbumin-induced AR rat models were established, which were then treated with MFXD for 14 days. Symptom scores of AR were calculated. The structure of the gut microbiota was analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and qPCR. Short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) content in rat stool and serum was determined by GC-MS. Inflammatory and immunological responses were assessed by histopathology, ELISA, flow cytometry, and western blotting. Our study demonstrated that MFXD reduced the symptom scores of AR and serum IgE and histamine levels. MFXD treatment restored the diversity of the gut microbiota: it increased the abundance of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes and decreased the abundance of Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria. MFXD treatment also increased SCFA content, including that of acetate, propionate, and butyrate. Additionally, MFXD administration downregulated the number of Th17 cells and the levels of the Th17-related cytokines IL-17 and ROR?t. By contrast, there was an increase in the number of Treg cells and the levels of the Treg-related cytokines IL-10 and Foxp3. MFXD and butyrate increased the levels of ZO-1 in the colon. This study indicated MFXD exerts therapeutic effects against AR, possibly by regulating the gut microbial composition and Th17/Treg balance.
Project description:A balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory mechanisms at mucosal interfaces, which are sites of constitutive exposure to microbes and non-microbial foreign substances, allows for efficient protection against pathogens yet prevents adverse inflammatory responses associated with allergy, asthma and intestinal inflammation. Regulatory T (T(reg)) cells prevent systemic and tissue-specific autoimmunity and inflammatory lesions at mucosal interfaces. These cells are generated in the thymus (tT(reg) cells) and in the periphery (induced (i)T(reg) cells), and their dual origin implies a division of labour between tT(reg) and iT(reg) cells in immune homeostasis. Here we show that a highly selective blockage in differentiation of iT(reg) cells in mice did not lead to unprovoked multi-organ autoimmunity, exacerbation of induced tissue-specific autoimmune pathology, or increased pro-inflammatory responses of T helper 1 (T(H)1) and T(H)17 cells. However, mice deficient in iT(reg) cells spontaneously developed pronounced T(H)2-type pathologies at mucosal sites--in the gastrointestinal tract and lungs--with hallmarks of allergic inflammation and asthma. Furthermore, iT(reg)-cell deficiency altered gut microbial communities. These results suggest that whereas T(reg) cells generated in the thymus appear sufficient for control of systemic and tissue-specific autoimmunity, extrathymic differentiation of T(reg) cells affects commensal microbiota composition and serves a distinct, essential function in restraint of allergic-type inflammation at mucosal interfaces.
Project description:The metabolic requirements change during cell proliferation and differentiation. Upon antigen-stimulation, effector T cells switch from adenosine-triphospate (ATP)-production by oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria to glycolysis. In the gut it was shown that short chain fatty acids (SCFA), fermentation products of the microbiota in colon, ameliorate inflammatory reactions by supporting the differentiation of regulatory T cells. SCFA are a major energy source, but they are also anabolic metabolites, histone-deacetylase-inhibitors and activators of G protein receptors. Recently, it was reported that a topical application of the SCFA butyrate promotes regulatory T cells in the skin. Here we ask if the SCFA butyrate, propionate and acetate affect the energy metabolism and inflammatory potential of dendritic epidermal T cells (DETC), the innate resident skin ?? T cell population. Using the Seahorse™ technology, we measured glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in a murine DETC cell line, 7-17, upon TCR-stimulation by CD3/CD28 crosslinking, with or without SCFA addition. TCR engagement resulted in a change of the ratio glycolysis/OXPHOS. A similar metabolic shift has been described for activated CD4 T cells. Addition of 5 mM SCFA, in particular butyrate, antagonized the effect. Stimulated DETC secrete cytokines, e.g. the pro-inflammatory cytokine interferon-gamma (IFN?), and thereby regulate skin homeostasis. Addition of butyrate and propionate to the cultures at non-toxic concentrations decreased secretion of IFN? by DETC and increased the expression of the immunoregulatory surface receptor CD69. We hypothesize that SCFA can dampen the inflammatory activity of DETC.
Project description:Obesity is linked with altered microbial short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are a signature of gut dysbiosis and inflammation. In the present study, we investigated whether tributyrin, a prodrug of the SCFA butyrate, could improve metabolic and inflammatory profiles in diet-induced obese mice. Mice fed a high-fat diet for eight weeks were treated with tributyrin or placebo for another six weeks. We show that obese mice treated with tributyrin had lower body weight gain and an improved insulin responsiveness and glucose metabolism, partly via reduced hepatic triglycerides content. Additionally, tributyrin induced an anti-inflammatory state in the adipose tissue by reduction of Il-1? and Tnf-a and increased Il-10, Tregs cells and M2-macrophages. Moreover, improvement in glucose metabolism and reduction of fat inflammatory states associated with tributyrin treatment were dependent on GPR109A activation. Our results indicate that exogenous targeting of SCFA butyrate attenuates metabolic and inflammatory dysfunction, highlighting a potentially novel approach to tackle obesity.
Project description:The intestinal microbiota contributes to the global wellbeing of their host by their fundamental role in the induction and maintenance of a healthy immune system. Commensal bacteria shape the mucosal immune system by influencing the proportion and the activation state of anti-inflammatory regulatory T cells (Treg) by metabolites that are still only partially unravelled. Microbiota members such as Clostridiales provide a transforming growth factor ? (TGF?)-rich environment that promotes the accumulation of Treg cells in the gut. The intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) take a central part in this process, as they are a major source of TGF?1 upon bacterial colonisation. In this study, we investigated which gut commensal bacteria were able to regulate the TGFB1 human promoter in IECs using supernatants from cultured bacteria. We reported that Firmicutes and Fusobacteria supernatants were the most potent TGFB1 modulators in HT-29 cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that butyrate was the main metabolite in bacterial supernatants accounting for TGF?1 increase. This butyrate-driven effect was independent of the G-protein coupled receptors GPR41, GPR43 and GPR109a, the transporter MCT1 as well as the transcription factors NF-?B and AP-1 present on TGFB1 promoter. Interestingly, HDAC inhibitors were inducing a similar TGFB1 increase suggesting that butyrate acted through its HDAC inhibitor properties. Finally, our results showed that SP1 was the main transcription factor mediating the HDAC inhibitor effect of butyrate on TGFB1 expression. This is, to our knowledge, the first characterisation of the mechanisms underlying TGFB1 regulation in IEC by commensal bacteria derived butyrate.
Project description:Aging results in chronic systemic inflammation that can alter neuroinflammation of the brain. Specifically, microglia shift to a pro-inflammatory phenotype predisposing them to hyperactivation upon stimulation by peripheral immune signals. It is proposed that certain nutrients can delay brain aging by preventing or reversing microglial hyperactivation. Butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced primarily by bacterial fermentation of fiber in the colon, has been extensively studied pharmacologically as a histone deacetylase inhibitor and serves as an attractive therapeutic candidate, as butyrate has also been shown to be anti-inflammatory and improve memory in animal models. In this study, we demonstrate that butyrate can attenuate pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in microglia in aged mice. It is still not fully understood, however, if an increase in butyrate-producing bacteria in the gut as a consequence of a diet high in soluble fiber could affect microglial activation during aging. Adult and aged mice were fed either a 1% cellulose (low fiber) or 5% inulin (high fiber) diet for 4?weeks. Findings indicate that mice fed inulin had an altered gut microbiome and increased butyrate, acetate, and total SCFA production. In addition, histological scoring of the distal colon demonstrated that aged animals on the low fiber diet had increased inflammatory infiltrate that was significantly reduced in animals consuming the high fiber diet. Furthermore, gene expression of inflammatory markers, epigenetic regulators, and the microglial sensory apparatus (i.e., the sensome) were altered by both diet and age, with aged animals exhibiting a more anti-inflammatory microglial profile on the high fiber diet. Taken together, high fiber supplementation in aging is a non-invasive strategy to increase butyrate levels, and these data suggest that an increase in butyrate through added soluble fiber such as inulin could counterbalance the age-related microbiota dysbiosis, potentially leading to neurological benefits.