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Induction of colonic regulatory T cells by indigenous Clostridium species.

Authors:
Atarashi K, Tanoue T, Shima T, Imaoka A, Kuwahara T, Momose Y, Cheng G, Yamasaki S, Saito T, Ohba Y, Taniguchi T, Takeda K, Hori S, Ivanov II, Umesaki Y, Itoh K, Honda K
Affiliation:
Journal:
Science (New York, N.Y.)

Abstract

CD4(+) T regulatory cells (T(regs)), which express the Foxp3 transcription factor, play a critical role in the maintenance of immune homeostasis. Here, we show that in mice, T(regs) were most abundant in the colonic mucosa. The spore-forming component of indigenous intestinal microbiota, particularly clusters IV and XIVa of the genus Clostridium, promoted T(reg) cell accumulation. Colonization of mice by a defined mix of Clostridium strains provided an environment rich in transforming growth factor-β and affected Foxp3(+) T(reg) number and function in the colon. Oral inoculation of Clostridium during the early life of conventionally reared mice resulted in resistance to colitis and systemic immunoglobulin E responses in adult mice, suggesting a new therapeutic approach to autoimmunity and allergy.

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