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Abstract Title:

Microbial exposure during early life has persistent effects on natural killer T cell function.

Abstract Source:

Science. 2012 Apr 27 ;336(6080):489-93. Epub 2012 Mar 22. PMID: 22442383

Abstract Author(s):

Torsten Olszak, Dingding An, Sebastian Zeissig, Miguel Pinilla Vera, Julia Richter, Andre Franke, Jonathan N Glickman, Reiner Siebert, Rebecca M Baron, Dennis L Kasper, Richard S Blumberg

Article Affiliation:

Torsten Olszak

Abstract:

Exposure to microbes during early childhood is associated with protection from immune-mediated diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and asthma. Here, we show that in germ-free (GF) mice, invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells accumulate in the colonic lamina propria and lung, resulting in increased morbidity in models of IBD and allergic asthma as compared with that of specific pathogen-free mice. This was associated with increased intestinal and pulmonary expression of the chemokine ligand CXCL16, which was associated with increased mucosal iNKT cells. Colonization of neonatal-but not adult-GF mice with a conventional microbiota protected the animals from mucosal iNKT accumulation and related pathology. These results indicate that age-sensitive contact with commensal microbes is critical for establishing mucosal iNKT cell tolerance to later environmental exposures.

Study Type : Animal Study

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