Editors' ChoiceHost-Microbe Interactions

Gut Immune Tolerance

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Science Signaling  01 Apr 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 319, pp. ec88
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005311

With the constant assault of food antigens and its billions of resident microbes, the gut is an important site of immune tolerance. By studying specific intestinal immune cell populations in genetically modified mice, Mortha et al. (see the Perspective by Aychek and Jung) found that gut macrophages produce the cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1) in response to signals derived from the microbiota. IL-1 acts on type 3 innate lymphoid cells in the intestine, which then produce the cytokine, colony-stimulating factor 2 (Csf-2). Csf-2, in turn, induces myeloid cells (including dendritic cells and macrophages) to produce regulatory factors like retinoic acid and IL-10, which support the conversion and expansion of regulatory T cells, a population of cells known to be critical for maintaining immune tolerance in the gut.

A. Mortha, A. Chudnovskiy, D. Hashimoto, M. Bogunovic, S. P. Spencer, Y. Belkaid, M. Merad, Microbiota-dependent crosstalk between macrophages and ILC3 promotes intestinal homeostasis. Science 343, 1249288 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]

T. Aychek, S. Jung, The axis of tolerance. Science 343, 1439–1440 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]