Research ArticleGUT MICROBIOTA

Intestinal commensal bacteria mediate lung mucosal immunity and promote resistance of newborn mice to infection

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Science Translational Medicine  08 Feb 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 376, eaaf9412
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf9412

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Gut microbiota: A driving force in lung mucosal defense

Interactions between the host immune system and intestinal commensal bacteria shape immune system development. Gray et al. now report that host-commensal interactions extend beyond the local environment and shape the repertoires of immune cells at extraintestinal sites such as the lungs. Exposure to commensals in the developmental window of the newborn period directed lung-selective trafficking of group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3), a group of sentinel cells that maintain mucosal homeostasis. This was mediated by intestinal dendritic cells, which induced expression of the lung homing signal CCR4 on the ILC3. Lung-selective trafficking of ILC3 promoted the resistance of newborn mice to pneumonia. These data explain the association between widespread use of antibiotics and an increased risk of pneumonia in newborn infants.

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