Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Med. 2014 Nov;20(11):1334-9. doi: 10.1038/nm.3680. Epub 2014 Oct 19.

Regulatory B cells are induced by gut microbiota-driven interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 production.

Author information

Centre for Rheumatology, Division of Medicine, University College London, London, UK.
Universita' degli Studi di Udine, Dipartimento di Medicina e Scienze Biologiche, Udine, Italia.
Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK.
Department of Microbiology, Virology and Infection Control, Great Ormond Street Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust, London, UK.
Cardiff Institute for Infection &Immunity, The School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK.


Regulatory B cells (Breg cells) differentiate in response to inflammation and subsequently restrain excessive immune responses via the release of interleukin-10 (IL-10). However, the precise inflammatory signals governing their differentiation remain to be elucidated. Here we show that the gut microbiota promotes the differentiation of Breg cells in the spleen as well as in the mesenteric lymph nodes. Perturbation of the gut microbiome imposed either by antibiotic treatment or by changes in the sterility of housing conditions reduces the number and function of Breg cells. Following the induction of arthritis, IL-1β and IL-6 are produced only in conventionally housed mice and both cytokines directly promote Breg cell differentiation and IL-10 production. Mice lacking IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) or IL-1 receptor 1 (IL-1R1) specifically on B cells have a reduced number of IL-10-producing B cells and develop exacerbated arthritis compared to control animals. Thus, in response to inflammatory signals induced by both the gut flora and arthritis, Breg cells increase in number and restrain excessive inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center