Resident microbiota activates regulatory cells that modulate intestinal inflammation and promote and maintain intestinal homeostasis. IL-10 is a key mediator of immune regulatory function. Our studies describe the functional importance and mechanisms by which gut microbiota and specific microbial components influence the development of intestinal IL-10-producing B cells. Using fecal transplant into germ-free (GF) Il10+/EGFP reporter and Il10-/- mice, we demonstrated that microbiota from specific pathogen-free mice primarily stimulated IL-10-producing colon-specific B cells and T regulatory 1 cells in ex-GF mice. IL-10 in turn downregulated microbiota-activated mucosal inflammatory cytokines. TLR2 and -9 ligands and enteric bacterial lysates preferentially induced IL-10 production and the regulatory capacity of intestinal B cells. Analysis of Il10+/EGFP mice crossed with additional gene-deficient strains and B cell cotransfer studies demonstrated that microbiota-induced IL-10-producing intestinal B cells ameliorated chronic T cell-mediated colitis in a TLR2-, MyD88-, and PI3K-dependent fashion. In vitro studies implicated downstream signaling of PI3Kp110δ and AKT. These studies demonstrated that resident enteric bacteria activated intestinal IL-10-producing B cells through TLR2, MyD88, and PI3K pathways. These B cells reduced colonic T cell activation and maintained mucosal homeostasis in response to intestinal microbiota.
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