Oncotarget 2016 Jan;7(3):3394-402
University Bordeaux, Bacteriology Laboratory, Bordeaux, France.
It has been postulated that the emergence of autoimmune gastritis in neonatal thymectomised (d3Tx) BALB/c mice may be a consequence of post-surgery deficit in Tregs. In this study, previously obtained samples from d3Tx mice were used in order to determine whether thymectomy creates a deficit in this T cell subset thereby allowing the emergence of autoimmune phenomena as a prerequisite for GML. The splenic Treg reserve and the local recruitment of these cells in the gastric mucosa were investigated using complementary molecular and immunohistochemistry approaches. Higher Foxp3/CD3 ratios were found in the spleen of non-infected d3Tx mice compared to non-thymectomised (NTx) controls. These results indicate a relative enrichment of Tregs following thymectomy in adult mice. The absence of Treg depletion in d3Tx mice is in line with the absence of auto-immune gastritis in non-infected d3Tx mice. Higher levels of T cell and Treg infiltration were also found in the stomach of GML-developing d3Tx mice versus NTx mice. Surprisingly, inflammatory scores inversely correlated with the bacterial inoculum. The presence of a small Treg containing compartment among gastric biopsies of GML developing d3Tx mice may play a role in perseverance of a minimal bacterial numbers thereby maintaining an antigen-dependent stimulation and proliferation.