Induction of colonic regulatory T cells by indigenous Clostridium species.

Science 2011 Jan 23;331(6015):337-41. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.

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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http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.1198469
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1198469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3969237PMC
January 2011
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