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Science. 2010 Jun 25;328(5986):1705-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1188454.

Reversible microbial colonization of germ-free mice reveals the dynamics of IgA immune responses.

Author information

1
DKF (Maurice Müller Laboratories), MEM, Universitätsklinik für Viszerale Chirurgie und Medizin (UVCM), University of Bern, 3013 Bern, Switzerland. hapfelmeier@gmail.com

Abstract

The lower intestine of adult mammals is densely colonized with nonpathogenic (commensal) microbes. Gut bacteria induce protective immune responses, which ensure host-microbial mutualism. The continuous presence of commensal intestinal bacteria has made it difficult to study mucosal immune dynamics. Here, we report a reversible germ-free colonization system in mice that is independent of diet or antibiotic manipulation. A slow (more than 14 days) onset of a long-lived (half-life over 16 weeks), highly specific anticommensal immunoglobulin A (IgA) response in germ-free mice was observed. Ongoing commensal exposure in colonized mice rapidly abrogated this response. Sequential doses lacked a classical prime-boost effect seen in systemic vaccination, but specific IgA induction occurred as a stepwise response to current bacterial exposure, such that the antibody repertoire matched the existing commensal content.

PMID:
20576892
PMCID:
PMC3923373
DOI:
10.1126/science.1188454
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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