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      A microbial symbiosis factor prevents intestinal inflammatory disease.

      1 , ,

      Nature

      Springer Nature America, Inc

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          Abstract

          Humans are colonized by multitudes of commensal organisms representing members of five of the six kingdoms of life; however, our gastrointestinal tract provides residence to both beneficial and potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Imbalances in the composition of the bacterial microbiota, known as dysbiosis, are postulated to be a major factor in human disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease. We report here that the prominent human symbiont Bacteroides fragilis protects animals from experimental colitis induced by Helicobacter hepaticus, a commensal bacterium with pathogenic potential. This beneficial activity requires a single microbial molecule (polysaccharide A, PSA). In animals harbouring B. fragilis not expressing PSA, H. hepaticus colonization leads to disease and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in colonic tissues. Purified PSA administered to animals is required to suppress pro-inflammatory interleukin-17 production by intestinal immune cells and also inhibits in vitro reactions in cell cultures. Furthermore, PSA protects from inflammatory disease through a functional requirement for interleukin-10-producing CD4+ T cells. These results show that molecules of the bacterial microbiota can mediate the critical balance between health and disease. Harnessing the immunomodulatory capacity of symbiosis factors such as PSA might potentially provide therapeutics for human inflammatory disorders on the basis of entirely novel biological principles.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Nature
          Nature
          Springer Nature America, Inc
          1476-4687
          0028-0836
          May 29 2008
          : 453
          : 7195
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA. sarkis@caltech.edu
          Article
          nature07008
          10.1038/nature07008
          18509436
          c72ab371-4006-4f34-831e-f13c28bccce0

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