News • Right in the gut

MAIT cells sense metabolic state of enteric bacteria

A little-explored group of immune cells plays an important role in the regulation of intestinal bacteria.

Changing metabolic states of the microbes have an effect on defense cells at different stages of alert or rest, as researchers from the Department of Biomedicine at the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the journal "Mucosal Immunology." It is known that the metabolites of bacteria influence the composition and function of immune cells resident within the gut. These defense cells include MAIT cells (mucosal-associated invariant T cells), which were only recently discovered and are naturally abundant in the gastrointestinal mucosa, skin liver and blood. These cells are specialized in recognizing the microorganisms living in every human being and monitoring their activities.

Different populations in gut vs. blood

Photo
Clusters of MAIT cells in human blood and colon biopsies, resulting from high-dimensional bioinformatics analysis. Subpopulations of these defense cells group into colored "continents" according to the markers expressed by the cells.
Source: Department of Biomedicine, Tobias Rutishauser

A group led by Prof. Dr. Gennaro De Libero from the University of Basel and PD Dr. Petr Hruz from the University Hospital of Basel have investigated how MAIT cell activation and function is influenced by bacterial metabolites produced in normal colon. The study revealed that distinct populations of MAIT cells are located in the human intestinal mucosa. These populations were identified in gut biopsies using highly innovative methods and bioinformatics analyses.

Result: MAIT cells are present in variable states of alert and rest, in accordance with the metabolic state of intestinal bacterial flora. The defense cells are most frequently stimulated by bacteria grown under low-oxygen and slow growth-phase - conditions such as those found in the large intestine. MAIT cells can then directly influence local inflammation but also tissue healing and cell fitness in the gut by producing different messenger substances.

"Our results show that there is a fine balance occurring in the gut between microbial growth conditions, the production of stimulating metabolites and the response of MAIT defense cells," state the researchers. The metabolism of microbes in the intestine constantly adapts to changing host conditions. By detecting the metabolic state of enteric bacteria, MAIT cells can potentiate their function in mucosal immunosurveillance.


Source: University of Basel

09.05.2018

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

News • Intestinal bacteria reprogram DNA activity

The uncanny influence of our gut flora

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem demonstrated in mice that intestinal bacteria reprogram DNA activity in cells of the gut mucosa and…

Photo

News • Connection between genes and disease severity

E. coli: How does an intestinal germ become a pathogen?

In the human intestine, Escherichia coli is mostly harmless, but in certain conditions causes bladder infections and even sepsis - but why? Researchers went to the bottom of this transformation.

Photo

News • Altered bacterial function

Accumulation of drugs in the gut may reduce their effectiveness

Common medications can accumulate in gut bacteria, a new study has found, altering bacterial function and potentially reducing the medications’ effectiveness. These interactions - seen for many…

Related products

Beckman Coulter – DxM 1096 MicroScan WalkAway system

Automation

Beckman Coulter – DxM 1096 MicroScan WalkAway system

Beckman Coulter Diagnostics
Beckman Coulter – DxM Autoplak Automation

Automation

Beckman Coulter – DxM Autoplak Automation

Beckman Coulter Diagnostics
Biomaneo – NeoSickle solution

Mass Spectrometry

Biomaneo – NeoSickle solution

Biomaneo
Fujifilm Wako – Autokit Total Ketone Bodies Assay

Clinical Chemistry

Fujifilm Wako – Autokit Total Ketone Bodies Assay

FUJIFILM Wako Chemicals Europe GmbH
Greiner – Vacuette Urine CCM Tube

Urine Microbiology

Greiner – Vacuette Urine CCM Tube

Greiner Bio-One
Mesalvo – LabCentre

LIS, Middleware, POCT

Mesalvo – LabCentre

Mesalvo Mannheim GmbH (ehemals i-SOLUTIONS Health GmbH)
Subscribe to Newsletter