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Science. 2012 Sep 21;337(6101):1553-6. Epub 2012 Aug 23.

Acute gastrointestinal infection induces long-lived microbiota-specific T cell responses.

Author information

1
Mucosal Immunology Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Abstract

The mammalian gastrointestinal tract contains a large and diverse population of commensal bacteria and is also one of the primary sites of exposure to pathogens. How the immune system perceives commensals in the context of mucosal infection is unclear. Here, we show that during a gastrointestinal infection, tolerance to commensals is lost, and microbiota-specific T cells are activated and differentiate to inflammatory effector cells. Furthermore, these T cells go on to form memory cells that are phenotypically and functionally consistent with pathogen-specific T cells. Our results suggest that during a gastrointestinal infection, the immune response to commensals parallels the immune response against pathogenic microbes and that adaptive responses against commensals are an integral component of mucosal immunity.

PMID:
22923434
PMCID:
PMC3784339
DOI:
10.1126/science.1220961
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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