Interleukin-15 promotes intestinal dysbiosis with butyrate deficiency associated with increased susceptibility to colitis.
ABSTRACT: Dysbiosis resulting in gut-microbiome alterations with reduced butyrate production are thought to disrupt intestinal immune homeostasis and promote complex immune disorders. However, whether and how dysbiosis develops before the onset of overt pathology remains poorly defined. Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is upregulated in distressed tissue and its overexpression is thought to predispose susceptible individuals to and have a role in the pathogenesis of celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Although the immunological roles of IL-15 have been largely studied, its potential impact on the microbiota remains unexplored. Analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA-based inventories of bacterial communities in mice overexpressing IL-15 in the intestinal epithelium (villin-IL-15 transgenic (v-IL-15tg) mice) shows distinct changes in the composition of the intestinal bacteria. Although some alterations are specific to individual intestinal compartments, others are found across the ileum, cecum and feces. In particular, IL-15 overexpression restructures the composition of the microbiota with a decrease in butyrate-producing bacteria that is associated with a reduction in luminal butyrate levels across all intestinal compartments. Fecal microbiota transplant experiments of wild-type and v-IL-15tg microbiota into germ-free mice further indicate that diminishing butyrate concentration observed in the intestinal lumen of v-IL-15tg mice is the result of intrinsic alterations in the microbiota induced by IL-15. This reconfiguration of the microbiota is associated with increased susceptibility to dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis. Altogether, this study reveals that IL-15 impacts butyrate-producing bacteria and lowers butyrate levels in the absence of overt pathology, which represent events that precede and promote intestinal inflammatory diseases.
Project description:Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is an immunomodulatory cytokine that affects body mass regulation independent of lymphocytes; however, the underlying mechanism(s) involved remains unknown. In an effort to investigate these mechanisms, we performed metabolic cage studies, assessed intestinal bacterial diversity and macronutrient absorption, and examined adipose mitochondrial activity in cultured adipocytes and in lean IL-15 transgenic (IL-15tg), overweight IL-15 deficient (IL-15-/-), and control C57Bl/6 (B6) mice. Here we show that differences in body weight are not the result of differential activity level, food intake, or respiratory exchange ratio. Although intestinal microbiota differences between obese and lean individuals are known to impact macronutrient absorption, differing gut bacteria profiles in these murine strains does not translate to differences in body weight in colonized germ free animals and macronutrient absorption. Due to its contribution to body weight variation, we examined mitochondrial factors and found that IL-15 treatment in cultured adipocytes resulted in increased mitochondrial membrane potential and decreased lipid deposition. Lastly, IL-15tg mice have significantly elevated mitochondrial activity and mass in adipose tissue compared to B6 and IL-15-/- mice. Altogether, these results suggest that IL-15 is involved in adipose tissue regulation and linked to altered mitochondrial function.
Project description:Butyrate produced by the intestinal microbiota is essential for proper functioning of the intestinal immune system. Total dependence on parenteral nutrition (PN) is associated with numerous adverse effects, including severe microbial dysbiosis and loss of important butyrate producers. We hypothesised that a lack of butyrate produced by the gut microbiota may be compensated by its supplementation in PN mixtures. We tested whether i.v. butyrate administration would (a) positively modulate intestinal defence mechanisms and (b) counteract PN-induced dysbiosis. Male Wistar rats were randomised to chow, PN, and PN supplemented with 9 mM butyrate (PN+But) for 12 days. Antimicrobial peptides, mucins, tight junction proteins, and cytokine expression were assessed by RT-qPCR. T-cell subpopulations in mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) were analysed by flow cytometry. Microbiota composition was assessed in caecum content. Butyrate supplementation resulted in increased expression of tight junction proteins (ZO-1, claudin-7, E-cadherin), antimicrobial peptides (Defa 8, Rd5, RegIII?), and lysozyme in the ileal mucosa. Butyrate partially alleviated PN-induced intestinal barrier impairment and normalised IL-4, IL-10, and IgA mRNA expression. PN administration was associated with an increase in Tregs in MLN, which was normalised by butyrate. Butyrate increased the total number of CD4+ and decreased a relative amount of CD8+ memory T cells in MLN. Lack of enteral nutrition and PN administration led to a shift in caecal microbiota composition. Butyrate did not reverse the altered expression of most taxa but did influence the abundance of some potentially beneficial/pathogenic genera, which might contribute to its overall beneficial effect.
Project description:Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is necessary for the development and function of NK/NKT cells and the maintenance of naive and memory CD8(+) T cells. In the absence of IL-15, protective innate immunity is not available; however, a functional adaptive immune response against vaginal herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is generated. Mice overexpressing IL-15 (IL-15tg mice) have higher numbers of NK cells, greater NK-derived gamma interferon, and more CD8(+) T cells. Here we examined the consequences of IL-15 overexpression for innate and adaptive immunity against genital HSV-2. Surprisingly, IL-15tg mice immunized against HSV-2 were not protected against genital HSV-2 challenge compared to control immunized mice. IL-15tg mice had a higher frequency of NK cells in the genital mucosa than control mice. However, immunized IL-15tg mice had significantly lower numbers of HSV-2-specific CD4(+) T cells than B6 mice. We then confirmed that CD4(+) T cells, but not CD8(+) T cells, are essential for protection against intravaginal HSV-2 challenge. Since we observed less protection in immunized IL-15tg mice, we then examined if the adaptive immune responses generated in an environment with overexpression of IL-15 could provide protection against HSV-2 in an environment with normal levels of IL-15 expression. We adoptively transferred immunized cells from IL-15tg and B6 mice into naive RAG-1(-/-) mice and found that the cells from immunized IL-15tg mice were able to provide protection in this IL-15-normal environment. Our data suggest that overexpression of IL-15 results in a reduced CD4(+) T cell-mediated adaptive immune response against genital HSV-2.
Project description:Colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, is caused by a variety of factors, but luminal microbiota are thought to play crucial roles in disease development and progression. Indole is produced by gut microbiota and is believed to protect the colon from inflammatory damage. In the current study, we investigated whether indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a naturally occurring plant product found in numerous cruciferous vegetables, can prevent colitis-associated microbial dysbiosis and attempted to identify the mechanisms. Treatment with I3C led to repressed colonic inflammation and prevention of microbial dysbiosis caused by colitis, increasing a subset of gram-positive bacteria known to produce butyrate. I3C was shown to increase production of butyrate, and when mice with colitis were treated with butyrate, there was reduced colonic inflammation accompanied by suppression of Th17 and induction of Tregs, protection of the mucus layer, and upregulation in Pparg expression. Additionally, IL-22 was increased only after I3C but not butyrate administration, and neutralization of IL-22 prevented the beneficial effects of I3C against colitis, as well as blocked I3C-mediated dysbiosis and butyrate induction. This study suggests that I3C attenuates colitis primarily through induction of IL-22, which leads to modulation of gut microbiota that promote antiinflammatory butyrate.
Project description:Commensal gut bacteria impact the host immune system and can influence disease processes in several organs, including the brain. However, it remains unclear whether the microbiota has an impact on the outcome of acute brain injury. Here we show that antibiotic-induced alterations in the intestinal flora reduce ischemic brain injury in mice, an effect transmissible by fecal transplants. Intestinal dysbiosis alters immune homeostasis in the small intestine, leading to an increase in regulatory T cells and a reduction in interleukin (IL)-17-positive ?? T cells through altered dendritic cell activity. Dysbiosis suppresses trafficking of effector T cells from the gut to the leptomeninges after stroke. Additionally, IL-10 and IL-17 are required for the neuroprotection afforded by intestinal dysbiosis. The findings reveal a previously unrecognized gut-brain axis and an impact of the intestinal flora and meningeal IL-17(+) ?? T cells on ischemic injury.
Project description:IL-15 has growth-promoting effects on select lymphoid subsets, including natural killer (NK) cells, NK T cells, intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs), CD8 T cells, and ??-T cells. Constitutive expression of murine IL-15 in IL-15-transgenic mice was reported to cause T-NK leukemia. We investigated whether IL-15 expression is sufficient for leukemic transformation using a human IL-15-transgenic (IL-15Tg) mouse model. We noted that 100% of the mice observed over a 2-year period (n > 150) developed fatal expansions of CD8 T cells with NK markers, and determined that these cells expressed IL-15 receptor alpha (IL-15R?). The expression of IL-15R? on CD8 T cells appears to be required for uncontrolled aggressive lymphoproliferation, because none of the IL-15R?(-/-)-IL-15Tg mice that we followed for more than 2 years developed the fatal disease despite controlled expansion of CD8 T cells. In addition, in contrast to IL-15Tg mice, in which leukemia-like CD8 T cells expressed IL-15R? persistently, acutely activated normal CD8 T cells only transiently expressed IL-15R?. Inhibition of DNA methylation enabled sustained IL-15R? expression induced by activation. We present a scenario for IL-15Tg mice in which CD8 T cells that acquire constitutive persistent IL-15R? expression are at a selective advantage and become founder cells, outgrow other lymphocytes, and lead to the establishment of a leukemia-like condition.
Project description:Distribution of the microbiota varies according to the location in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Thus, dysbiosis during aging may not be limited to faecal microbiota and extend to the other parts of the GI tract, especially the cecum and colon. Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, a probiotic strain, has been shown to modulate faecal microbiota and its associated metabolic phenotype in aging mice. In the present study, we investigated the effect of L. acidophilus DDS-1 supplementation on caecal- and mucosal-associated microbiota, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and immunological profiles in young and aging C57BL/6J mice. Besides differences in the young and aging control groups, we observed microbial shifts in caecal and mucosal samples, leading to an alteration in SCFA levels and immune response. DDS-1 treatment increased the abundances of beneficial bacteria such as Akkermansia spp. and Lactobacillus spp. more effectively in caecal samples than in mucosal samples. DDS-1 also enhanced the levels of butyrate, while downregulating the production of inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1?, IL-1?, MCP-1, MIP-1?, MIP-1?, IL-12 and IFN-?) in serum and colonic explants. Our findings suggest distinct patterns of intestinal microbiota, improvements in SCFA and immunological profiles with DDS-1 supplementation in aging mice.
Project description:The intestinal mucosa exists in dynamic balance with trillions of luminal microbes. Disruption of the intestinal epithelial barrier, commonly observed in mucosal inflammation and diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), is often associated with dysbiosis, particularly decreases in species producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as butyrate. It remains unclear to what extent microbiota-derived factors contribute to the overall maintenance of intestinal homeostasis. Initial studies revealed that butyrate selectively promotes epithelial barrier function and wound healing. We aimed to define the specific mechanism(s) through which butyrate contributes to these epithelial responses. Guided by an unbiased profiling approach, we identified the dominant regulation of the actin-binding protein synaptopodin (SYNPO). Extensions of this work revealed a role for SYNPO in intestinal epithelial barrier function and wound healing. SYNPO was localized to the intestinal epithelial tight junction and within F-actin stress fibers where it is critical for barrier integrity and cell motility. Butyrate, but not other SCFAs, induced SYNPO in epithelial cell lines and murine colonic enteroids through mechanisms possibly involving histone deacetylase inhibition. Moreover, depletion of the microbiota abrogated expression of SYNPO in the mouse colon, which was rescued with butyrate repletion. Studies in Synpo-deficient mice demonstrated exacerbated disease susceptibility and increased intestinal permeability in a dextran sulfate sodium colitis model. These findings establish a critical role for the microbiota and their products, specifically butyrate, in the regulated expression of SYNPO for intestinal homeostasis and reveal a direct mechanistic link between microbiota-derived butyrate and barrier restoration.
Project description:Ulcerative colitis is a gastrointestinal disorder intricately associated with intestinal dysbiosis, but effective treatments are currently limited. Indigo naturalis, a traditional Chinese medicine derived from indigo plants, has been widely used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. However, the specific mechanisms have not yet been identified. Accordingly, in this study, we evaluated the effects and mechanisms of indigo naturalis on dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in rats. Our results showed that indigo naturalis potently alleviated DSS-induced colitis in rats, and reversed DSS-induced intestinal dysbiosis using bacterial 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. The protective effects of indigo naturalis were gut microbiota dependent, as demonstrated by antibiotic treatments and fecal microbiota transplantation. Depletion of the gut microbiota through a combination of antibiotic treatments blocked the anti-inflammatory effect of indigo naturalis on the DSS-induced colitis, and the recipients of the gut microbiota from indigo naturalis-treated rats displayed a significantly attenuated intestinal inflammation, which was actively responsive to therapeutic interventions with indigo naturalis. Notably, supplement with indigo naturalis greatly increased the levels of feces butyrate, which was positively correlated with the relative abundances of Ruminococcus_1 and Butyricicoccus. We further showed that indigo naturalis-dependent attenuation of colitis was associated with elevated expression of short-chain fatty acid-associated receptors GPR41 and GPR43. Collectively, these results suggested that indigo naturalis alleviates DSS-induced colitis in rats through a mechanism of the microbiota-butyrate axis, particularly alterations in Ruminococcus_1 and Butyricicoccus abundances, and target-specific microbial species may have unique therapeutic promise for ulcerative colitis.
Project description:Chronic alcohol consumption perturbs the normal intestinal microbial communities (dysbiosis). To investigate the relationship between alcohol-mediated dysbiosis and pulmonary host defense we developed a fecal adoptive transfer model, which allows us to investigate the impact of alcohol-induced gut dysbiosis on host immune response to an infectious challenge at a distal organ, independent of prevailing alcohol use. Male C57BL/6 mice were treated with a cocktail of antibiotics (ampicillin, gentamicin, neomycin, vancomycin, and metronidazole) via daily gavage for two weeks. A separate group of animals was fed a chronic alcohol (or isocaloric dextrose pair-fed controls) liquid diet for 10 days. Microbiota-depleted mice were recolonized with intestinal microbiota from alcohol-fed or pair-fed (control) animals. Following recolonization groups of mice were sacrificed prior to and 48 hrs. post respiratory infection with Klebsiella pneumoniae. Klebsiella lung burden, lung immunology and inflammation, as well as intestinal immunology, inflammation, and barrier damage were examined. Results showed that alcohol-associated susceptibility to K. pneumoniae is, in part, mediated by gut dysbiosis, as alcohol-naïve animals recolonized with a microbiota isolated from alcohol-fed mice had an increased respiratory burden of K. pneumoniae compared to mice recolonized with a control microbiota. The increased susceptibility in alcohol-dysbiosis recolonized animals was associated with an increase in pulmonary inflammatory cytokines, and a decrease in the number of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells in the lung following Klebsiella infection but an increase in T-cell counts in the intestinal tract following Klebsiella infection, suggesting intestinal T-cell sequestration as a factor in impaired lung host defense. Mice recolonized with an alcohol-dysbiotic microbiota also had increased intestinal damage as measured by increased levels of serum intestinal fatty acid binding protein. Collectively, these results suggest that alterations in the intestinal immune response as a consequence of alcohol-induced dysbiosis contribute to increased host susceptibility to Klebsiella pneumonia.