Microbiota dual-faceted player in experimental colitis

Ting Feng, Charles O. Elson, Yingzi Cong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We have recently demonstrated that microbiota stimulation of innate immune pathways is required for T cell spontaneous proliferation and chronic intestinal inflammation. Microbiota promoted spontaneous proliferation of T cells by activating dendritic cells to produce interleukin (IL)-6 via a TLR/ MyD88-dependent pathway. Although both CBir1-specific TCR transgenic (CBir1 Tg) T cells, which are specific for an immunodominant microbiota antigen and OT-II T cells, which are specific for the model antigen ovalbumin, underwent spontaneous proliferation, only CBir1 Tg T cells but not OT-II T cells induced colitis in specific pathogen-free RAG-/- mice. Blockade of IL-6 or IL-6-mediated spontaneous proliferation of CBir1 Tg T cells abrogated colitis induction in this adoptive transfer model. Our data reveal that microbiota serves as a natural adjuvant for T cell spontaneous proliferation and development of chronic intestinal inflammation and that both microbiota stimulation of innate immune cells with subsequent T cell spontaneous proliferation and microbiota antigen activation of antigen-specific TCR are required for the induction of experimental colitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGut Microbes
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010


  • Colitis
  • Dendritic cells
  • Il-6
  • Microbiota
  • Spontaneous proliferation
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Gastroenterology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Microbiota dual-faceted player in experimental colitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this