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PLoS Pathog. 2018 Sep 20;14(9):e1007260. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007260. eCollection 2018 Sep.

Expansion of commensal fungus Wallemia mellicola in the gastrointestinal mycobiota enhances the severity of allergic airway disease in mice.

Author information

1
F. Widjaja Foundation Inflammatory Bowel & Immunobiology Research Institute, and the Division of Immunology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.
2
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, United States of America.
3
Genomics Core, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.
4
Women's Guild Lung Institute, Department of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.
5
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, and the Division of Immunology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.

Abstract

The gastrointestinal microbiota influences immune function throughout the body. The gut-lung axis refers to the concept that alterations of gut commensal microorganisms can have a distant effect on immune function in the lung. Overgrowth of intestinal Candida albicans has been previously observed to exacerbate allergic airways disease in mice, but whether subtler changes in intestinal fungal microbiota can affect allergic airways disease is less clear. In this study we have investigated the effects of the population expansion of commensal fungus Wallemia mellicola without overgrowth of the total fungal community. Wallemia spp. are commonly found as a minor component of the commensal gastrointestinal mycobiota in both humans and mice. Mice with an unaltered gut microbiota community resist population expansion when gavaged with W. mellicola; however, transient antibiotic depletion of gut microbiota creates a window of opportunity for expansion of W. mellicola following delivery of live spores to the gastrointestinal tract. This phenomenon is not universal as other commensal fungi (Aspergillus amstelodami, Epicoccum nigrum) do not expand when delivered to mice with antibiotic-depleted microbiota. Mice with Wallemia-expanded gut mycobiota experienced altered pulmonary immune responses to inhaled aeroallergens. Specifically, after induction of allergic airways disease with intratracheal house dust mite (HDM) antigen, mice demonstrated enhanced eosinophilic airway infiltration, airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to methacholine challenge, goblet cell hyperplasia, elevated bronchoalveolar lavage IL-5, and enhanced serum HDM IgG1. This phenomenon occurred with no detectable Wallemia in the lung. Targeted amplicon sequencing analysis of the gastrointestinal mycobiota revealed that expansion of W. mellicola in the gut was associated with additional alterations of bacterial and fungal commensal communities. We therefore colonized fungus-free Altered Schaedler Flora (ASF) mice with W. mellicola. ASF mice colonized with W. mellicola experienced enhanced severity of allergic airways disease compared to fungus-free control ASF mice without changes in bacterial community composition.

PMID:
30235351
PMCID:
PMC6147580
DOI:
10.1371/journal.ppat.1007260
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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