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PLoS Pathog. 2012;8(5):e1002714. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002714. Epub 2012 May 31.

Probiotic Bifidobacterium breve induces IL-10-producing Tr1 cells in the colon.

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Laboratory of Immune Regulation, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, Japan.


Specific intestinal microbiota has been shown to induce Foxp3(+) regulatory T cell development. However, it remains unclear how development of another regulatory T cell subset, Tr1 cells, is regulated in the intestine. Here, we analyzed the role of two probiotic strains of intestinal bacteria, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacterium breve in T cell development in the intestine. B. breve, but not L. casei, induced development of IL-10-producing Tr1 cells that express cMaf, IL-21, and Ahr in the large intestine. Intestinal CD103(+) dendritic cells (DCs) mediated B. breve-induced development of IL-10-producing T cells. CD103(+) DCs from Il10(-/-), Tlr2(-/-), and Myd88(-/-) mice showed defective B. breve-induced Tr1 cell development. B. breve-treated CD103(+) DCs failed to induce IL-10 production from co-cultured Il27ra(-/-) T cells. B. breve treatment of Tlr2(-/-) mice did not increase IL-10-producing T cells in the colonic lamina propria. Thus, B. breve activates intestinal CD103(+) DCs to produce IL-10 and IL-27 via the TLR2/MyD88 pathway thereby inducing IL-10-producing Tr1 cells in the large intestine. Oral B. breve administration ameliorated colitis in immunocompromised mice given naïve CD4(+) T cells from wild-type mice, but not Il10(-/-) mice. These findings demonstrate that B. breve prevents intestinal inflammation through the induction of intestinal IL-10-producing Tr1 cells.

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