Browsing publications of the research group microbial immunoregulation (MIKI) by Journal
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A Central Role for Atg5 in Microbiota-Dependent Foxp3 RORγt Treg Cell Preservation to Maintain Intestinal Immune Homeostasis.Autophagy is an evolutionary conserved catabolic pathway that ensures the degradation of intracellular components. The autophagic pathway is regulated by autophagy-related (Atg) proteins that govern formation of double-membraned vesicles called autophagosomes. Autophagy deficiency in regulatory T (Treg) cells leads to increased apoptosis of these cells and to the development of autoimmune disorders, predominantly characterized by intestinal inflammation. Recently, RORγt-expressing Treg cells have been identified as key regulators of gut homeostasis, preventing intestinal immunopathology. To study the role of autophagy in RORγt+ Foxp3+ Treg cells, we generated mice lacking the essential component of the core autophagy machinery Atg5 in Foxp3+ cells. Atg5 deficiency in Treg cells led to a predominant intestinal inflammation. While Atg5-deficient Treg cells were reduced in peripheral lymphoid organs, the intestinal RORγt+ Foxp3+ subpopulation of Treg cells was most severely affected. Our data indicated that autophagy is essential to maintain the intestinal RORγt+ Foxp3+ Treg population, thereby protecting the mice from gut inflammatory disorders.
Induction of IL-22-Producing CD4+ T Cells by Segmented Filamentous Bacteria Independent of Classical Th17 Cells.The intestinal microbiota modulates IL-22 production in the intestine, including the induction of IL-22-producing CD4+ T helper cells. Which specific bacteria are responsible for the induction of these cells is less well understood. Here, we demonstrate through the use of novel gnotobiotic knock-in reporter mice that segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB), which are known for their ability to induce Th17 cells, also induce distinct IL-17A negative CD4+ T cell populations in the intestine. A subset of these cells instead produces IL-22 upon restimulation ex vivo and also during enteric infections. Furthermore, they produce a distinct set of cytokines compared to Th17 cells including the differential expression of IL-17F and IFN-γ. Importantly, genetic models demonstrate that these cells, presumably Th22 cells, develop independently of intestinal Th17 cells. Together, our data identifies that besides Th17, SFB also induces CD4+ T cell populations, which serve as immediate source of IL-22 during intestinal inflammation.