The gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) is the largest immune organ of the body. Although the gut transient and mucosa-associated microbiota have been largely studied, the microbiota that colonizes the GALT has received less attention. The gut microbiome plays an important role in competitive exclusion of pathogens and in development and maturation of immunity. Diet is a key factor affecting the microbiota composition in the digestive tract. To investigate the relation between diet, microbiota and GALT, microbial and cell composition of vermiform appendix (VA) and sacculus rotundus (SR) were studied in two groups of New Zealand white rabbits on different diets. Diet shifted the lymphoid tissue microbiota affecting the presence and/or absence of certain taxa and their abundances. Immunohistochemistry revealed that a higher fibre content diet resulted in M cell hyperplasia and an increase of recently recruited macrophages, whereas T-cell levels remained unaltered in animals on both high fibre and standard diets. These findings indicate that diet has an impact on the microbiota and cell composition of the GALT, which could act as an important microbial recognition site where interactions with beneficial bacteria can take place favouring microbiota replacement after digestive dysregulations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas