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Can J Microbiol. 1998 Dec;44(12):1177-82.

Interactions between gut-associated lymphoid tissue and colonization levels of indigenous, segmented, filamentous bacteria in the small intestine of mice.

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Central Animal Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Unlike most other indigenous bacteria, segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) are potent activators of the mucosal immune system. SFB are strongly anchored to the epithelial cells of the small intestine where they have a preference for mucosal lymphoid epithelium. Since SFB are only present in high numbers shortly after weaning, it was investigated whether an SFB-induced immune reaction results in the removal of these bacteria from the small intestine. A correlation was found between age and colonization levels in the small intestines of SFB monoassociated Swiss mice. Five-week-old athymic BALB/c (nu/nu) mice showed lower colonization levels than their heterozygous littermates, but the opposite was found at the age of 12 weeks. However, SFB inoculation of germfree Swiss mice resulted in higher colonization levels in 5-week-old mice when compared with 4-month-old mice. We conclude that SFB colonization levels in the small intestine are likely influenced by the activity of the mucosal immune system. However, an additional age-dependent factor that modulates SFB colonization levels cannot be excluded.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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