Expression of immune regulatory genes correlate with the abundance of specific Clostridiales and Verrucomicrobia species in the equine ileum and cecum

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Billions of bacteria inhabit the gastrointestinal tract. Immune-microbial cross talk is responsible for immunological homeostasis, and symbiotic microbial species induce regulatory immunity, which helps to control the inflammation levels. In this study we aimed to identify species within the equine intestinal microbiota with the potential to induce regulatory immunity. These could be future targets for preventing or treating low-grade chronic inflammation occurring as a result of intestinal microbial changes and disruption of the homeostasis. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing was performed on samples of intestinal microbial content from ileum, cecum, and colon of 24 healthy horses obtained from an abattoir. Expression of genes coding for IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-17, 18 s, TNFα, TGFβ, and Foxp3 in the ileum and mesenteric lymph nodes was measured by qPCR. Intestinal microbiota composition was significantly different in the cecum and colon compared to the ileum, which contains large abundances of Proteobacteria. Especially members of the Clostridiales order correlated positively with the regulatory T-cell transcription factor Foxp3 and so did the phylum Verrucomicrobia. We conclude that Clostridiales and Verrucomicrobia have the potential to induce regulatory immunity and are possible targets for intestinal microbial interventions aiming at regulatory immunity improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12674
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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