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      Commensal microbe-derived butyrate induces the differentiation of colonic regulatory T cells

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          Abstract

          Gut commensal microbes shape the mucosal immune system by regulating the differentiation and expansion of several types of T cell. Clostridia, a dominant class of commensal microbe, can induce colonic regulatory T (Treg) cells, which have a central role in the suppression of inflammatory and allergic responses. However, the molecular mechanisms by which commensal microbes induce colonic Treg cells have been unclear. Here we show that a large bowel microbial fermentation product, butyrate, induces the differentiation of colonic Treg cells in mice. A comparative NMR-based metabolome analysis suggests that the luminal concentrations of short-chain fatty acids positively correlates with the number of Treg cells in the colon. Among short-chain fatty acids, butyrate induced the differentiation of Treg cells in vitro and in vivo, and ameliorated the development of colitis induced by adoptive transfer of CD4(+) CD45RB(hi) T cells in Rag1(-/-) mice. Treatment of naive T cells under the Treg-cell-polarizing conditions with butyrate enhanced histone H3 acetylation in the promoter and conserved non-coding sequence regions of the Foxp3 locus, suggesting a possible mechanism for how microbial-derived butyrate regulates the differentiation of Treg cells. Our findings provide new insight into the mechanisms by which host-microbe interactions establish immunological homeostasis in the gut.

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          Most cited references 49

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          Clustal W and Clustal X version 2.0.

          The Clustal W and Clustal X multiple sequence alignment programs have been completely rewritten in C++. This will facilitate the further development of the alignment algorithms in the future and has allowed proper porting of the programs to the latest versions of Linux, Macintosh and Windows operating systems. The programs can be run on-line from the EBI web server: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/tools/clustalw2. The source code and executables for Windows, Linux and Macintosh computers are available from the EBI ftp site ftp://ftp.ebi.ac.uk/pub/software/clustalw2/
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            Induction of intestinal Th17 cells by segmented filamentous bacteria.

            The gastrointestinal tract of mammals is inhabited by hundreds of distinct species of commensal microorganisms that exist in a mutualistic relationship with the host. How commensal microbiota influence the host immune system is poorly understood. We show here that colonization of the small intestine of mice with a single commensal microbe, segmented filamentous bacterium (SFB), is sufficient to induce the appearance of CD4(+) T helper cells that produce IL-17 and IL-22 (Th17 cells) in the lamina propria. SFB adhere tightly to the surface of epithelial cells in the terminal ileum of mice with Th17 cells but are absent from mice that have few Th17 cells. Colonization with SFB was correlated with increased expression of genes associated with inflammation and antimicrobial defenses and resulted in enhanced resistance to the intestinal pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. Thus, manipulation of this commensal-regulated pathway may provide new opportunities for enhancing mucosal immunity and treating autoimmune disease.
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              Molecular-phylogenetic characterization of microbial community imbalances in human inflammatory bowel diseases.

              The two primary human inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), are idiopathic relapsing disorders characterized by chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract. Although several lines of reasoning suggest that gastrointestinal (GI) microbes influence inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) pathogenesis, the types of microbes involved have not been adequately described. Here we report the results of a culture-independent rRNA sequence analysis of GI tissue samples obtained from CD and UC patients, as well as non-IBD controls. Specimens were obtained through surgery from a variety of intestinal sites and included both pathologically normal and abnormal states. Our results provide comprehensive molecular-based analysis of the microbiota of the human small intestine. Comparison of clone libraries reveals statistically significant differences between the microbiotas of CD and UC patients and those of non-IBD controls. Significantly, our results indicate that a subset of CD and UC samples contained abnormal GI microbiotas, characterized by depletion of commensal bacteria, notably members of the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Patient stratification by GI microbiota provides further evidence that CD represents a spectrum of disease states and suggests that treatment of some forms of IBD may be facilitated by redress of the detected microbiological imbalances.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                December 2013
                November 13 2013
                December 2013
                : 504
                : 7480
                : 446-450
                Article
                10.1038/nature12721
                24226770
                © 2013

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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