Specialization of mucosal immunoglobulins in pathogen control and microbiota homeostasis occurred early in vertebrate evolution

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Science Immunology  07 Feb 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 44, eaay3254
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aay3254

Managing microbiota to a T

Mucosal surfaces in teleost fish harbor B cells that produce IgT, a secretory mucosal immunoglobulin. To investigate how IgT influences gill microbiota composition and resistance to infection, Xu et al. developed an efficient technique for temporarily depleting IgT-producing B cells in rainbow trout. Acute induction of IgT deficiency in trout led to dysbiosis of commensal gill microbiota, inflammation, tissue damage, and impaired resistance to infection by a mucosal parasite. The gill pathology triggered by loss of IgT was reversible after IgT levels recovered to the normal range. These findings demonstrate that the mucosal immunoglobulin species in both teleost fish (IgT) and mammals (mostly IgA) play evolutionarily conserved roles in the maintenance of healthy commensal microbiota communities and control of pathogens.

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