Induction of colonic regulatory T cells by indigenous Clostridium species

Koji Atarashi, Takeshi Tanoue, Tatsuichiro Shima, Akemi Imaoka, Tomomi Kuwahara, Yoshika Momose, Genhong Cheng, Sho Yamasaki, Takashi Saito, Yusuke Ohba, Tadatsugu Taniguchi, Kiyoshi Takeda, Shohei Hori, Ivaylo I. Ivanov, Yoshinori Umesaki, Kikuji Itoh, Kenya Honda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2769 Citations (Scopus)


CD4+ T regulatory cells (Tregs), which express the Foxp3 transcription factor, play a critical role in the maintenance of immune homeostasis. Here, we show that in mice, Tregs were most abundant in the colonic mucosa. The spore-forming component of indigenous intestinal microbiota, particularly clusters IV and XIVa of the genus Clostridium, promoted Treg cell accumulation. Colonization of mice by a defined mix of Clostridium strains provided an environment rich in transforming growth factor-β and affected Foxp3+ Treg number and function in the colon. Oral inoculation of Clostridium during the early life of conventionally reared mice resulted in resistance to colitis and systemic immunoglobulin E responses in adult mice, suggesting a new therapeutic approach to autoimmunity and allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
Issue number6015
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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