Research ArticleMICROBIOME

Cell surface polysaccharides of Bifidobacterium bifidum induce the generation of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Immunology  19 Oct 2018:
Vol. 3, Issue 28, eaat6975
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aat6975

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Deconstructing probiotics

Besides supporting host metabolism, our intestinal microbiota also play a vital role in modulating functions of immune cells in the gut. Here, Verma et al. have examined how a particular probiotic strain, Bifidobacterium bifidum, promotes the generation of T regulatory (Treg) cells in the intestine. They have identified β-glucan/galactan polysaccharides derived from the cell wall of B. bifidum to be responsible for promoting Treg cell induction in the intestine. Further, they report this process to be dependent on intestinal dendritic cells that express Toll-like receptor 2. Studies such as this open up the possibility of using microbial components rather than live microbes to treat microbial dysbiosis associated with gastrointestinal disorders including colitis and Crohn’s disease.