Induction of Intestinal Th17 Cells by Segmented Filamentous Bacteria

Ivaylo I. Ivanov, Koji Atarashi, Nicolas Manel, Eoin L. Brodie, Tatsuichiro Shima, Ulas Karaoz, Dongguang Wei, Katherine C. Goldfarb, Clark A. Santee, Susan V. Lynch, Takeshi Tanoue, Akemi Imaoka, Kikuji Itoh, Kiyoshi Takeda, Yoshinori Umesaki, Kenya Honda, Dan R. Littman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3363 Citations (Scopus)


The gastrointestinal tract of mammals is inhabited by hundreds of distinct species of commensal microorganisms that exist in a mutualistic relationship with the host. How commensal microbiota influence the host immune system is poorly understood. We show here that colonization of the small intestine of mice with a single commensal microbe, segmented filamentous bacterium (SFB), is sufficient to induce the appearance of CD4+ T helper cells that produce IL-17 and IL-22 (Th17 cells) in the lamina propria. SFB adhere tightly to the surface of epithelial cells in the terminal ileum of mice with Th17 cells but are absent from mice that have few Th17 cells. Colonization with SFB was correlated with increased expression of genes associated with inflammation and antimicrobial defenses and resulted in enhanced resistance to the intestinal pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. Thus, manipulation of this commensal-regulated pathway may provide new opportunities for enhancing mucosal immunity and treating autoimmune disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-498
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct 30
Externally publishedYes



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Induction of Intestinal Th17 Cells by Segmented Filamentous Bacteria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this