Research ArticleMICROBIOME

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

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

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  • Cell surface polysaccharides of Bifidobacterium bifidum induce the generation of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells
    • Dianne Sika-Paotonu, Associate Dean (Pacific)/Senior Lecturer Pathology & Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand

    To the Editor,

    I read with interest the article published by Verma R., et al. (1) and entitled: “Cell surface polysaccharides of Bifidobacterium bifidum induce the generation of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells.”

    This work explored the role of probiotic strains to induce Treg cells and found that Bifidobacterium bifidum strain PR11 (Bb) as being the strongest Treg inducer.

    The Foxp3+ pTreg cells identified as a focus for this work were also shown to have diverse TCR specificity and were capable of suppressing inflammation in the intestine.

    Further to this, the cell surface β-glucan/galactan (CSGG) Bifidobacterium bifidum polysaccharides were found responsible for Treg cell induction that was dependent on TL-2 receptor expressing Dendritic Cells (DCs) found in the intestine.

    It was interesting also to note that lower levels of Bifidobacterium bifidum were reported in patients with inflammatory bowel disease when compared to healthy controls, and that this bacterial strain colonizes the gut of breast fed infants.

    Although fecal microbiota transplants (FMTs) have demonstrated therapeutic benefit for gastrointestinal disorders, safety assured bacteria such as probiotics offer an alternative approach to support the restoration of dysregulated microbiota with studies indicating amelioration of allergies and inflammatory bowel disorders with its use.

    Identification of beneficial probiotic organisms and their appropriate effector mec...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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