Identifying species of symbiont bacteria from the human gut that, alone, can induce intestinal Th17 cells in mice

Tze Guan Tan, Esen Sefik, Naama Geva-Zatorsky, Lindsay Kua, Debdut Naskar, Fei Teng, Lesley Pasman, Adriana Ortiz-Lopez, Ray Jupp, Hsin-Jung Joyce Wu, Dennis L. Kasper, Christophe Benoist, Diane Mathis

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103 Scopus citations


Th17 cells accrue in the intestine in response to particular microbes. In rodents, segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) induce intestinal Th17 cells, but analogously functioning microbes in humans remain undefined. Here, we identified human symbiont bacterial species, in particular Bifidobacterium adolescentis, that could, alone, induce Th17 cells in the murine intestine. Similar to SFB, B. adolescentis was closely associated with the gut epithelium and engendered cognate Th17 cells without attendant inflammation. However, B. adolescentis elicited a transcriptional program clearly distinct from that of SFB, suggesting an alternative mechanism of promoting Th17 cell accumulation. Inoculation of mice with B. adolescentis exacerbated autoimmune arthritis in the K/BxN mouse model. Several off-the-shelf probiotic preparations that include Bifidobacterium strains also drove intestinal Th17 cell accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E8141-E8150
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - Dec 13 2016



  • Intestine
  • Microbiota
  • Mucosal immunology
  • Probiotic
  • Th17 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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