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Mucosal Immunol. 2010 May;3(3):209-12. doi: 10.1038/mi.2010.3. Epub 2010 Feb 10.

Segmented filamentous bacteria take the stage.

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  • 1Molecular Pathogenesis Program, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Abstract

Commensal bacteria are crucial for maturation and function of the mucosal immune system. However, the mechanisms of these interactions are poorly understood. In addition, the role of the composition of the microbiota and the importance of individual species in this community in stimulating different types of immunity are major unanswered questions. We recently showed that the balance between two major effector T cell populations in the intestine, IL-17(+) Th17 cells and Foxp3(+) Tregs, requires signals from commensal bacteria and is dependent on the composition of the intestinal microbiota. Comparison of microbiota from Th17 cell-deficient and Th17 cell-sufficient mice identified segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) as capable of specifically inducing Th17 cells in the gut. SFB represent the first example of a commensal species that can skew the mucosal effector T cell balance and thus affect the immune fitness of the individual.

PMID:
20147894
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3010405
Free PMC Article

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