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1.  Luminal-Applied Flagellin Is Internalized by Polarized Intestinal Epithelial Cells and Elicits Immune Responses via the TLR5 Dependent Mechanism 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24869.
Bacteria release flagellin that elicits innate responses via Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5). Here, we investigated the fate of apically administrated full length flagellin from virulent and avirulent bacteria, along with truncated recombinant flagellin proteins in intestinal epithelial cells and cellular responses. Flagellin was internalized by intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) monolayers of IEC-18. Additionally, apically applied flagellin was internalized by polarized human Caco-2BBe and T-84 cells in a TLR5 dependent mechanism. More, flagellin exposure did not affect the integrity of intestinal monolayers. With immunofluorescent staining, internalized flagellin was detected in both early endosomes as well as lysosomes. We found that apical exposure of polarized Caco-2BBe and T-84 to flagellin from purified Salmonella, Escherichia coli O83:H1 (isolate from Crohn’s lesion) or avirulent E. coli K12 induced comparable levels of basolateral IL-8 secretion. A recombinant protein representing the conserved amino (N) and carboxyl (C) domains (D) of the flagellin protein (ND1/2ECHCD2/1) induced IL-8 secretion from IEC similar to levels elicited by full-length flagellins. However, a recombinant flagellin protein containing only the D3 hypervariable region elicited no IL-8 secretion in both cell lines compared to un-stimulated controls. Silencing or blocking TLR5 in Caco-2BBe cells resulted in a lack of flagellin internalization and decreased IL-8 secretion. Furthermore, apical exposure to flagellin stimulated transepithelial migration of neutrophils and dendritic cells. The novel findings in this study show that luminal-applied flagellin is internalized by normal IEC via TLR5 and co-localizes to endosomal and lysosomal compartments where it is likely degraded as flagellin was not detected on the basolateral side of IEC cultures.
PMCID: PMC3174220  PMID: 21949773
2.  The Commensal Streptococcus salivarius K12 Downregulates the Innate Immune Responses of Human Epithelial Cells and Promotes Host-Microbe Homeostasis▿ †  
Infection and Immunity  2008;76(9):4163-4175.
Streptococcus salivarius is an early colonizer of human oral and nasopharyngeal epithelia, and strain K12 has reported probiotic effects. An emerging paradigm indicates that commensal bacteria downregulate immune responses through the action on NF-κB signaling pathways, but additional mechanisms underlying probiotic actions are not well understood. Our objective here was to identify host genes specifically targeted by K12 by comparing their responses with responses elicited by pathogens and to determine if S. salivarius modulates epithelial cell immune responses. RNA was extracted from human bronchial epithelial cells (16HBE14O- cells) cocultured with K12 or bacterial pathogens. cDNA was hybridized to a human 21K oligonucleotide-based array. Data were analyzed using ArrayPipe, InnateDB, PANTHER, and oPOSSUM. Interleukin 8 (IL-8) and growth-regulated oncogene alpha (Groα) secretion were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. It was demonstrated that S. salivarius K12 specifically altered the expression of 565 host genes, particularly those involved in multiple innate defense pathways, general epithelial cell function and homeostasis, cytoskeletal remodeling, cell development and migration, and signaling pathways. It inhibited baseline IL-8 secretion and IL-8 responses to LL-37, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and flagellin in epithelial cells and attenuated Groα secretion in response to flagellin. Immunosuppression was coincident with the inhibition of activation of the NF-κB pathway. Thus, the commensal and probiotic behaviors of S. salivarius K12 are proposed to be due to the organism (i) eliciting no proinflammatory response, (ii) stimulating an anti-inflammatory response, and (iii) modulating genes associated with adhesion to the epithelial layer and homeostasis. S. salivarius K12 might thereby ensure that it is tolerated by the host and maintained on the epithelial surface while actively protecting the host from inflammation and apoptosis induced by pathogens.
PMCID: PMC2519405  PMID: 18625732
3.  SIGIRR, a Negative Regulator of TLR/IL-1R Signalling Promotes Microbiota Dependent Resistance to Colonization by Enteric Bacterial Pathogens 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(8):e1003539.
Enteric bacterial pathogens such as enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) and Salmonella Typhimurium target the intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) lining the mammalian gastrointestinal tract. Despite expressing innate Toll-like receptors (TLRs), IEC are innately hypo-responsive to most bacterial products. This is thought to prevent maladaptive inflammatory responses against commensal bacteria, but it also limits antimicrobial responses by IEC to invading bacterial pathogens, potentially increasing host susceptibility to infection. One reason for the innate hypo-responsiveness of IEC is their expression of Single Ig IL-1 Related Receptor (SIGIRR), a negative regulator of interleukin (IL)-1 and TLR signaling. To address whether SIGIRR expression and the innate hypo-responsiveness of IEC impacts on enteric host defense, Sigirr deficient (−/−) mice were infected with the EHEC related pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. Sigirr −/− mice responded with accelerated IEC proliferation and strong pro-inflammatory and antimicrobial responses but surprisingly, Sigirr −/− mice proved dramatically more susceptible to infection than wildtype mice. Through haematopoietic transplantation studies, it was determined that SIGIRR expression by non-haematopoietic cells (putative IEC) regulated these responses. Moreover, the exaggerated responses were found to be primarily dependent on IL-1R signaling. Whilst exploring the basis for their susceptibility, Sigirr −/− mice were found to be unusually susceptible to intestinal Salmonella Typhimurium colonization, developing enterocolitis without the typical requirement for antibiotic based removal of competing commensal microbes. Strikingly, the exaggerated antimicrobial responses seen in Sigirr −/− mice were found to cause a rapid and dramatic loss of commensal microbes from the infected intestine. This depletion appears to reduce the ability of the microbiota to compete for space and nutrients (colonization resistance) with the invading pathogens, leaving the intestine highly susceptible to pathogen colonization. Thus, SIGIRR expression by IEC reflects a strategy that sacrifices maximal innate responsiveness by IEC in order to promote commensal microbe based colonization resistance against bacterial pathogens.
Author Summary
Despite being in close contact with billions of commensal bacteria, the epithelial cells that line the intestine develop very weak innate inflammatory responses to bacterial products. The goal of this study was to explore why these cells respond so poorly, and how increasing their innate responsiveness would impact on host defense against invading bacterial pathogens. We show that a negative regulator of innate signaling called SIGIRR, limits the inflammatory responses of the intestine to bacteria. Following infection by the bacterial pathogen Citrobacter rodentium, the intestines of mice lacking SIGIRR showed exaggerated inflammatory, antimicrobial and proliferative responses. Through transplantation studies, we showed it was SIGIRR expression by intestinal epithelial cells that limits these responses, and that the exaggerated responses were driven by cytokine signaling through the interleukin-1 receptor. Despite their exaggerated responses, SIGIRR deficient mice proved extremely susceptible to infection by C. rodentium and other intestinal bacterial pathogens. We found the exaggerated inflammatory responses rapidly depleted intestinal commensal microbes, reducing their ability to outcompete invading pathogens for space and nutrients (colonization resistance). Our study thus clarifies that the hypo-responsiveness of epithelial cells plays an unexpected but critical role in host defense, by promoting commensal microbe based competition against enteric pathogens.
PMCID: PMC3738496  PMID: 23950714
4.  Commensal-Induced Regulatory T Cells Mediate Protection against Pathogen-Stimulated NF-κB Activation 
PLoS Pathogens  2008;4(8):e1000112.
Host defence against infection requires a range of innate and adaptive immune responses that may lead to tissue damage. Such immune-mediated pathologies can be controlled with appropriate T regulatory (Treg) activity. The aim of the present study was to determine the influence of gut microbiota composition on Treg cellular activity and NF-κB activation associated with infection. Mice consumed the commensal microbe Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 followed by infection with Salmonella typhimurium or injection with LPS. In vivo NF-κB activation was quantified using biophotonic imaging. CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cell phenotypes and cytokine levels were assessed using flow cytometry while CD4+ T cells were isolated using magnetic beads for adoptive transfer to naïve animals. In vivo imaging revealed profound inhibition of infection and LPS induced NF-κB activity that preceded a reduction in S. typhimurium numbers and murine sickness behaviour scores in B. infantis–fed mice. In addition, pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion, T cell proliferation, and dendritic cell co-stimulatory molecule expression were significantly reduced. In contrast, CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cell numbers were significantly increased in the mucosa and spleen of mice fed B. infantis. Adoptive transfer of CD4+CD25+ T cells transferred the NF-κB inhibitory activity. Consumption of a single commensal micro-organism drives the generation and function of Treg cells which control excessive NF-κB activation in vivo. These cellular interactions provide the basis for a more complete understanding of the commensal-host-pathogen trilogue that contribute to host homeostatic mechanisms underpinning protection against aberrant activation of the innate immune system in response to a translocating pathogen or systemic LPS.
Author Summary
The normal response to infection is rapid and effective clearance of pathogenic microbes. However, this immune response may occasionally cause collateral inflammatory damage to host tissue and in severe cases, such as systemic sepsis, results in organ failure. Various cellular mechanisms, including regulatory T cells, protect against aggressive immune responses. However, environmental agents which promote regulatory T cells are not well understood. We and others have previously shown that non-pathogenic or commensal micro-organisms can protect the host from aberrant pro-inflammatory activity within the gut, but the influence of these microbes on regulatory T cells in the context of systemic infection has not been examined. In this study, we demonstrate that consumption of a single commensal bacterium induces regulatory T cells in vivo which protect the host from pathogen-induced inflammatory responses by limiting activation of the pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB via the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) pathway. This report conclusively demonstrates a cellular and molecular basis for the commensal-host-pathogen trilogue resulting in enhanced protection from systemic infection whilst limiting pro-inflammatory damage mediated by activation of the innate immune system.
PMCID: PMC2474968  PMID: 18670628
5.  Rapid Protection of Gnotobiotic Pigs against Experimental Salmonellosis following Induction of Polymorphonuclear Leukocytes by Avirulent Salmonella enterica  
Infection and Immunity  2003;71(4):2182-2191.
Oral inoculation of 5-day-old gnotobiotic pigs with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain F98 resulted in severe enteritis and invasive disease. Preinoculation 24 h earlier with an avirulent mutant of Salmonella enterica serovar Infantis (1326/28) completely prevented disease for up to 14 days (when the experiment was terminated). S. enterica serovar Infantis colonized the alimentary tract well, with high bacterial counts in the intestinal lumen but with almost no invasion into the tissues. Unprotected pigs had high S. enterica serovar Typhimurium counts in the intestines, blood, and major nonintestinal organs. Recovery of this strain from the blood and major organs in S. enterica serovar Infantis-protected pigs was substantially reduced despite the fact that intestinal counts were also very high. Protection against disease thus did not involve a colonization exclusion phenomenon. Significant (P < 0.05) infiltration of monocytes/macrophages was observed in the submucosal regions of the intestines of both S. enterica serovar Infantis-protected S. enterica serovar Typhimurium-challenged pigs and unprotected S. enterica serovar Typhimurium-challenged pigs. However, only polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) were observed throughout the villus, where significant (P < 0.05) numbers infiltrated the lamina propria and the subnuclear and supranuclear regions of the epithelia, indicating that PMN induction and positioning following S. enterica serovar Infantis inoculation was consistent with rapid protection against the challenge strain. Similarly, in vitro experiments using a human fetal intestinal epithelial cell line (INT 407) demonstrated that, although significantly (P < 0.05) fewer S. enterica serovar Infantis than S. enterica serovar Typhimurium organisms invaded the monolayers, S. enterica serovar Infantis induced an NF-κB response and significantly (P < 0.05) raised interleukin 8 levels and transmigration of porcine PMN. The results of this study suggest that attenuated Salmonella strains can protect the immature intestine against clinical salmonellosis by PMN induction. They also demonstrate that PMN induction is not necessarily associated with clinical symptoms and/or intestinal pathology.
PMCID: PMC152035  PMID: 12654840
6.  Antibodies against Marinobacter algicola and Salmonella typhimurium Flagellins Do Not Cross-Neutralize TLR5 Activation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48466.
Flagellins evoke strong innate and adaptive immune responses. These proteins may play a key role as radioprotectors, exert antitumoral activity in certain types of tumor and reduce graft-versus-host disease in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. Notwithstanding, flagellins are highly immunogenic, and repeated use leads to their neutralization by systemic antibodies. This neutralization is not prevented by using functional deleted flagellins. These observations led us to explore the possibility of preventing initial neutralization by means of another functional flagellin that does not belong to common pathogenic bacteria but that has the capacity to activate TLR5. Here we characterized the functional capacity of the two-phase Marinobacter algicola (MA)-derived flagellins (F and FR) as systemic and mucosal adjuvants and compared their performance with that of Salmonella typhimurium (STF) flagellins (FljB and FliC). We also report for the first time on the in vitro and in vivo capacity of various flagellins to trigger TLR5 activation in the presence of species-specific anti-flagellin antibodies, the cross-neutralization mediated by these antibodies, and the sequential use of these flagellins for TLR5 activation. Our results showed that MA flagellins behave in a similar way to STF ones, inducing pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL8, CCL20, CCL2) and evoking a strong in vivo antibody response against a model epitope. More importantly, MA flagellins were fully functional, in vitro or in vivo, in the presence of a high concentration of neutralizing anti-flagellin STF antibodies, and STF flagellin was not inhibited by neutralizing anti-flagellin MA antibodies. The use of active flagellins from distinct bacteria could be a useful approach to prevent systemic neutralization of this group of adjuvants and to facilitate the rational design of flagellin-based vaccines and/or other therapeutic treatments (against ischemia, acute renal failure, tumors, ionizing radiations and also to improve the outcome of bone marrow transplants).
PMCID: PMC3498291  PMID: 23155384
7.  Differential Early Interactions between Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhi and Two Other Pathogenic Salmonella Serovars with Intestinal Epithelial Cells 
Infection and Immunity  1998;66(5):2310-2318.
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (hereafter referred to as S. typhi) is a host-restricted pathogen that adheres to and invades the distal ileum and subsequently disseminates to cause typhoid fever in humans. However, S. typhi appears to be avirulent in small animals. In contrast, other pathogenic salmonellae, such as S. enterica serovars Typhimurium and Dublin (S. typhimurium and S. dublin, respectively), typically cause localized gastroenteritis in humans but have been used as models for typhoid fever because these organisms cause a disease in susceptible rodents that resembles human typhoid. In vivo, S. typhi has been demonstrated to attach to and invade murine M cells but is rapidly cleared from the Peyer’s patches without destruction of the M cells. In contrast, invasion of M cells by S. typhimurium is accompanied by destruction of these M cells and subsequently sloughing of the epithelium. These data have furthered our view that the early steps in the pathogenesis of typhoidal and nontyphoidal Salmonella serovars are distinct. To extend this concept, we have utilized an in vitro model to evaluate three parameters of initial host-pathogen interactions: adherence of three Salmonella serovars to human and murine small intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) lines, the capacity of these salmonellae to invade IECs, and the ability of the bacteria to induce interleukin-6 (IL-6) in these cell lines as a measure of host cell activation and the host acute-phase response. The results demonstrate that S. typhi adheres to and invades human small IECs better than either S. typhimurium or S. dublin. Interestingly, invA and invE null mutants of S. typhi are able neither to adhere to nor to invade IECs, unlike S. typhimurium invA and invE mutants, which adhere to but cannot invade IECs. S. typhi also induces significantly greater quantities of IL-6 in human small IEC lines than either of the other two Salmonella serovars. These findings suggest that differential host cytokine responses to bacterial pathogens may play an important role in the pathological sequelae that follow infection. Importantly, S. typhimurium did not induce IL-6 in murine IECs. Since S. typhimurium infection in mice is often used as a model of typhoid fever, these findings suggest that, at least in this case, the mouse model does not reflect the human disease. Taken together, our studies indicate that (i) marked differences occur in the initial steps of S. typhi, S. typhimurium, and S. dublin pathogenesis, and (ii) conclusions about S. typhi pathogenesis that have been drawn from the mouse model of typhoid fever should be interpreted conservatively.
PMCID: PMC108196  PMID: 9573122
8.  Adhesion of human bifidobacterial strains to cultured human intestinal epithelial cells and inhibition of enteropathogen-cell interactions. 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  1993;59(12):4121-4128.
Thirteen human bifidobacterial strains were tested for their abilities to adhere to human enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells in culture. The adhering strains were also tested for binding to the mucus produced by the human mucus-secreting HT29-MTX cell line in culture. A high level of calcium-independent adherence was observed for Bifidobacterium breve 4, for Bifidobacterium infantis 1, and for three fresh human isolates from adults. As observed by scanning electron microscopy, adhesion occurs to the apical brush border of the enterocytic Caco-2 cells and to the mucus secreted by the HT29-MTX mucus-secreting cells. The bacteria interacted with the well-defined apical microvilli of Caco-2 cells without cell damage. The adhesion to Caco-2 cells of bifidobacteria did not require calcium and was mediated by a proteinaceous adhesion-promoting factor which was present both in the bacterial whole cells and in the spent supernatant of bifidobacterium culture. This adhesion-promoting factor appeared species specific, as are the adhesion-promoting factors of lactobacilli. We investigated the inhibitory effect of adhering human bifidobacterial strains against intestinal cell monolayer colonization by a variety of diarrheagenic bacteria. B. breve 4, B. infantis 1, and fresh human isolates were shown to inhibit cell association of enterotoxigenic, enteropathogenic, diffusely adhering Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium strains to enterocytic Caco-2 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, B. breve 4 and B. infantis 1 strains inhibited, dose dependently, Caco-2 cell invasion by enteropathogenic E. coli, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, and S. typhimurium strains.
PMCID: PMC195875  PMID: 8285709
9.  The Single IgG IL-1 related receptor (Sigirr) controls Toll-like receptor responses in differentiated human intestinal epithelial cells 
Intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) are constantly exposed to enteric microbes. Although IECs express TLRs that recognize bacterial products, activation of these TLRs is strictly controlled through poorly understood mechanisms, producing a state of hypo-responsiveness and preventing unwanted inflammation. The Single IgG IL-1 related receptor (Sigirr) is a negative regulator of TLRs that is expressed by IEC and recently shown to inhibit experimental colitis. However, the importance of Sigirr in IEC hyporesponsiveness and its distribution within the human colon is unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of Sigirr in regulating epithelial specific TLR responses and characterize its expression in colonic biopsies. Transformed and non-transformed human IEC were cultured as monolayers. Transient gene silencing and stable over-expression of Sigirr was performed to assess innate IEC responses. Sigirr expression in human colonic biopsies was examined by immunohistochemistry. Bacterial infection of IEC and exposure to flagellin transiently decreased Sigirr protein expression, concurrent with secretion of the neutrophil chemokine IL-8. Sigirr gene silencing augmented chemokine responses to bacterial flagellin, Pam3Cys and the cytokine IL-1β. Conversely, stable over-expression of Sigirr diminished NF-κB mediated IL-8 responses to TLR ligands. We also found that Sigirr expression increased as IECs differentiated in culture. This observation was confirmed in biopsy sections, where Sigirr expression within colonic crypts was prominent in IECs at the apex and diminished at the base. Our findings show that Sigirr broadly regulates innate responses in differentiated human IEC, and may therefore modulate epithelial involvement in infectious and inflammatory bowel diseases.
PMCID: PMC3652552  PMID: 20130217
Enterocytes; chemokines; flagellin; bacterial infection; differentiation
10.  Bifidobacterium infantis attenuates colitis by regulating T cell subset responses 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(48):18316-18329.
AIM: to investigate the effect of Bifidobacterium infantis (B. infantis) on the T cell subsets and in attenuating the severity of experimental colitis in mice.
METHODS: Normal BALB/c mice were fed different doses of B. infantis for 3 wk, and T cell subsets and related cytokine profiles in mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) were detected by flow cytometry and real-time RT-PCR. Colitis was induced by administration of trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) in mice. Before colitis induction, mice were fed high dose B. infantis for 3 wk. Cytokine profiles in MLNs and histological changes of colonic tissue were examined 6 d after colitis induction.
RESULTS: No significant change in cytokine profiles was observed in normal mice fed low dose B. infantis. However, Th1-related cytokines (IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-12p40), Th17-related transcription factor and cytokines (RORγt, IL-21, IL-23), regulatory T cell (Treg)-related transcription factor and cytokines (Foxp3, IL-10) were increased in normal mice fed high dose B. infantis. Furthermore, flow cytometry assay showed B. infantis increased the numbers of CD4+Foxp3+ Tregs and Th17 cells in MLNs. Colitis was successfully induced by TNBS in mice, characterized by colonic inflammation and aberrant Th1 and Th17 responses. Feeding high dose B. infantis for 3 wk before colitis induction decreased the inflammatory cell infiltration and goblet cell depletion and restored the intestinal epithelium. In addition, B. infantis feeding reduced Th1-related cytokines (T-bet, IL-2 and IFN-γ) and Th17-related cytokines (IL-12p40, RORγt, IL-17A, IL-21 and IL-23), and increased Treg-related molecules (Foxp3, IL-10 and TGF-β) in colitis mice.
CONCLUSION: B. infantis effectively attenuates TNBS-induced colitis by decreasing Th1 and Th17 responses and increasing Foxp3+ Treg response in the colonic mucosa.
PMCID: PMC4277968  PMID: 25561798
Bifidobacterium; Colitis; Cytokines; Th17; Regulatory T cells
11.  Improved adhesive properties of recombinant bifidobacteria expressing the Bifidobacterium bifidum-specific lipoprotein BopA 
Bifidobacteria belong to one of the predominant bacterial groups in the intestinal microbiota of infants and adults. Several beneficial effects on the health status of their human hosts have been demonstrated making bifidobacteria interesting candidates for probiotic applications. Adhesion of probiotics to the intestinal epithelium is discussed as a prerequisite for colonisation of and persistence in the gastrointestinal tract.
In the present study, 15 different strains of bifidobacteria were tested for adhesion. B. bifidum was identified as the species showing highest adhesion to all tested intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) lines. Adhesion of B. bifidum S17 to IECs was strongly reduced after treatment of bacteria with pronase. These results strongly indicate that a proteinaceous cell surface component mediates adhesion of B. bifidum S17 to IECs. In silico analysis of the currently accessible Bifidobacterium genomes identified bopA encoding a lipoprotein as a B. bifidum-specific gene previously shown to function as an adhesin of B. bifidum MIMBb75. The in silico results were confirmed by Southern Blot analysis. Furthermore, Northern Blot analysis demonstrated that bopA is expressed in all B. bifidum strains tested under conditions used to cultivate bacteria for adhesion assays. The BopA gene was successfully expressed in E. coli and purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography as a C-terminal His6-fusion. Purified BopA had an inhibitory effect on adhesion of B. bifidum S17 to IECs. Moreover, bopA was successfully expressed in B. bifidum S17 and B. longum/infantis E18. Strains overexpressing bopA showed enhanced adhesion to IECs, clearly demonstrating a role of BopA in adhesion of B. bifidum strains.
BopA was identified as a B. bifidum-specific protein involved in adhesion to IECs. Bifidobacterium strains expressing bopA show enhanced adhesion. Our results represent the first report on recombinant bifidobacteria with improved adhesive properties.
PMCID: PMC3408352  PMID: 22694891
Adhesion; Bifidobacteria; Intestinal epithelial cells; Probiotics
12.  Regulation of TLR4-associated MD-2 in intestinal epithelial cells: a comprehensive analysis 
Innate immunity  2009;16(2):93-103.
The intestinal epithelium maintains a state of controlled inflammation despite continuous contact with Gram-negative commensal bacteria and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on its luminal surface. Recognition of LPS by the TLR4/MD-2 complex results in proinflammatory gene expression and cytokine secretion in intestinal epithelial cells (IEC). We have shown that IEC express low levels of MD-2 and TLR4 and are poorly responsive to LPS. In this study, we did a comprehensive analysis to understand the immune-mediated and epigenetic mechanisms by which IEC down-regulate MD-2 expression. Expression of MD-2 and TLR4 mRNA was examined in human inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal epithelial cell lines (T84, HT-29, Caco-2). Nuclear factor-κB transcriptional activation was used as a measure of LPS responsiveness. Intestinal epithelial cellsin patients with IBD exhibited increased expression of MD-2 and TLR4 mRNA. Lipopolysaccharide responsiveness in IEC was polarized to the basolateral membrane. Bisulfite sequencing of the MD-2 promoter demonstrated methylation of CpG dinucleotides. Inhibition of methylation by 5-azacytidine and histone deactylation by trichostatin A, two forms of epigenetic silencing, resulted in increased mRNA expression of MD-2 in IEC. These results demonstrate various molecular mechanisms by which IEC down-regulate MD-2 and thereby protect against dysregulated inflammation to commensal bacteria in the intestinal lumen.
PMCID: PMC2846239  PMID: 19710105
MD-2; Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4); Intestinal Epithelial Cells; Lipopolysaccharide; Methylation; Histone deacetylation
13.  β-Galactomannan and Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii Modulate the Immune Response against Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium in Porcine Intestinal Epithelial and Dendritic Cells 
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes inflammation, necrosis, and diarrhea in pigs, as well as being an important source of food-borne diseases in humans. Probiotics and prebiotics are promising alternatives to antibiotics to control and prevent intestinal infections. The present work investigated a recently developed β-galactomannan (βGM) prebiotic compared to the proven probiotic Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii on porcine ileum intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) of the IPI-2I line and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) cocultured in vitro with Salmonella. We observed that both S. cerevisiae var. boulardii and βGM inhibited the association of Salmonella with IECs in vitro. Our data indicated that βGM has a higher ability than S. cerevisiae var. boulardii to inhibit Salmonella-induced proinflammatory mRNA (cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], interleukin-1α [IL-1α], IL-6, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor [GM-CSF] and chemokines CCL2, CCL20, and CXCL8) and at protein levels (IL-6 and CXCL8). Additionally, βGM and S. cerevisiae var. boulardii induced some effects on DCs that were not observed on IECs: βGM and S. cerevisiae var. boulardii showed slight upregulation of mRNA for TNF-α, GM-CSF, and CCR7 receptor on porcine monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs). Indeed, the addition of βGM or S. cerevisiae var. boulardii on DCs cocultured with Salmonella showed higher gene expression (mRNA) for TNF-α, GM-CSF, and CXCL8 compared to that of the control with Salmonella. In conclusion, the addition of βGM inhibits Salmonella-induced proinflammatory profiles in IECs but may promote DC activation, although associated molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated.
PMCID: PMC3294625  PMID: 22301691
14.  Bifidobacterium longum Alleviates Dextran Sulfate Sodium-Induced Colitis by Suppressing IL-17A Response: Involvement of Intestinal Epithelial Costimulatory Molecules 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79735.
Although some bacterial strains show potential to prevent colitis, their mechanisms are not fully understood. Here, we investigated the anti-colitic mechanisms of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis JCM 1222T, focusing on the relationship between interleukin (IL)-17A secreting CD4+ T cells and intestinal epithelial costimulatory molecules in mice. Oral administration of JCM 1222T to mice alleviated dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced acute colitis. The expression of type 1 helper T (Th1)- and IL-17 producing helper T (Th17)-specific cytokines and transcriptional factors was suppressed by JCM 1222T treatment. Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) from colitic mice induced IL-17A production from CD4+ T cells in a cell-cell contact-dependent manner, and this was suppressed by oral treatment with JCM 1222T. Using blocking antibodies for costimulatory molecules, we revealed that epithelial costimulatory molecules including CD80 and CD40, which were highly expressed in IECs from colitic mice, were involved in IEC-induced IL-17A response. Treatment of mice and intestinal epithelial cell line Colon-26 cells with JCM 1222T decreased the expression of CD80 and CD40. Collectively, these data indicate that JCM 1222T negatively regulate epithelial costimulatory molecules, and this effect might be attributed, at least in part, to suppression of IL-17A in DSS-induced colitis.
PMCID: PMC3821848  PMID: 24255712
15.  Intestinal Epithelium-Specific MyD88 Signaling Impacts Host Susceptibility to Infectious Colitis by Promoting Protective Goblet Cell and Antimicrobial Responses 
Infection and Immunity  2014;82(9):3753-3763.
Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs), including secretory goblet cells, form essential physiochemical barriers that separate luminal bacteria from underlying immune cells in the intestinal mucosa. IECs are common targets for enteric bacterial pathogens, with hosts responding to these microbes through innate toll-like receptors that predominantly signal through the MyD88 adaptor protein. In fact, MyD88 signaling confers protection against several enteric bacterial pathogens, including Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Citrobacter rodentium. Since IECs are considered innately hyporesponsive, it is unclear whether MyD88 signaling within IECs contributes to this protection. We infected mice lacking MyD88 solely in their IECs (IEC-Myd88−/−) with S. Typhimurium. Compared to wild-type (WT) mice, infected IEC-Myd88−/− mice suffered accelerated tissue damage, exaggerated barrier disruption, and impaired goblet cell responses (Muc2 and RELMβ). Immunostaining revealed S. Typhimurium penetrated the IECs of IEC-Myd88−/− mice, unlike in WT mice, where they were sequestered to the lumen. When isolated crypts were assayed for their antimicrobial actions, crypts from IEC-Myd88−/− mice were severely impaired in their antimicrobial activity against S. Typhimurium. We also examined whether MyD88 signaling in IECs impacted host defense against C. rodentium, with IEC-Myd88−/− mice again suffering exaggerated tissue damage, impaired goblet cell responses, and reduced antimicrobial activity against C. rodentium. These results demonstrate that MyD88 signaling within IECs plays an important protective role at early stages of infection, influencing host susceptibility to infection by controlling the ability of the pathogen to reach and survive at the intestinal mucosal surface.
PMCID: PMC4187802  PMID: 24958710
16.  The histone deacetylase Hdac1 regulates inflammatory signalling in intestinal epithelial cells 
It has recently been found that both nuclear epithelial-expressed histone deacetylases Hdac1 and Hdac2 are important to insure intestinal homeostasis and control the mucosal inflammatory response in vivo. In addition, HDAC inhibitors modulate epithelial cell inflammatory responses in cancer cells. However, little is known of the specific role of different HDAC, notably Hdac1, in the regulation of inflammatory gene expression in intestinal epithelial cells (IEC).
We investigated the role of Hdac1 in non-transformed IEC-6 rat cells infected with lentiviral vectors expressing specific Hdac1 shRNAs, to suppress Hdac1 expression. Proliferation was assessed by cell counting. Deacetylase activity was measured with a colorimetric HDAC assay. Cells were treated with IL-1β and/or the JQ1 bromodomain acetyl-binding inhibitor. Nuclear protein levels of Hdac1, Hdac2, phosphorylated or unphosphorylated NF-κB p65 or C/EBPβ, and NF-κB p50 and actin were determined by Western blot. Chemokine and acute phase protein expression was assessed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis. Secreted cytokine and chemokine levels were assessed with a protein array. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments were done to assess RNA polymerase II recruitment.
Reduced Hdac1 protein levels led to Hdac2 protein increases and decreased cell proliferation. Hdac1 depletion prolonged nuclear IL-1β-induced phosphorylation of NF-κB p65 protein on Ser536 as opposed to total p65, and of C/EBPβ on Ser105. In addition, semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed three patterns of expression caused by Hdac1 depletion, namely increased basal and IL-1β-stimulated levels (Hp, Kng1), increased IL-1β-stimulated levels (Cxcl2) and decreased basal levels with normal IL-1β induction levels (Ccl2, Ccl5, Cxcl1, C3). Secreted cytokine and chemokine measurements confirmed that Hdac1 played roles both as an IL-1β signalling repressor and activator. Hdac1 depletion did not alter the JQ1 dependent inhibition of basal and IL-1β-induced inflammatory gene expression. Hdac1 depletion led to decreased basal levels of RNA polymerase II enrichment on the Ccl2 promoter, as opposed to the Gapdh promoter, correlating with decreased Ccl2 basal mRNA expression.
Hdac1 is a major nuclear HDAC controlling IL-1β-dependent inflammatory response in IEC, notably by regulating gene-specific transcriptional responses. Hdac1 may be important in restricting basal and inflammatory-induced gene levels to defined ranges of expression.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12950-014-0043-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4299484  PMID: 25606026
Hdac1; Inflammation; Intestinal epithelial cell; Chemokine expression
17.  Fusobacterium nucleatum and Human Beta-Defensins Modulate the Release of Antimicrobial Chemokine CCL20/Macrophage Inflammatory Protein 3α ▿ † 
Infection and Immunity  2011;79(11):4578-4587.
Cells of the innate immune system regulate immune responses through the production of antimicrobial peptides, chemokines, and cytokines, including human beta-defensins (hBDs) and CCL20. In this study, we examined the kinetics of primary human oral epithelial cell (HOEC) production of CCL20 and hBDs in response to Fusobacterium nucleatum, a commensal bacterium of the oral cavity, which we previously showed promotes HOEC induction of hBDs. HOECs secrete maximal levels of CCL20 at 6 h, following stimulation by F. nucleatum cell wall (FnCW). The kinetics of CCL20 release is distinct from that of hBD-2 and -3, which peaks after 24 h and 48 h of FnCW stimulation, respectively. FnCW-induced release of CCL20 by HOECs requires both transcriptional and translational activation. Release of CCL20 by HOECs is inhibited by brefeldin A, suggesting that it is secreted through a vesicle transport pathway. Other epithelium-derived agents that FnCW induces, such as hBD-2, hBD-3, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β), are also able to release CCL20. By focusing on mitogen-activated protein kinases, we show that both extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and p38, but not JNK, are required for hBD-, TNF-α-, and IL-1β-induced secretion of CCL20 by HOECs. The ability of FnCW and its induced hBDs to produce proinflammatory cytokines and CCL20 suggests the broad role of F. nucleatum and human antimicrobial peptides in primary immune responses elicited by oral epithelium.
PMCID: PMC3257922  PMID: 21911466
18.  Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis: champion colonizer of the infant gut 
Pediatric research  2014;77(0):229-235.
Oligosaccharides are abundant in human milk. Production of these highly diverse structures requires significant energy expenditure by the mother and yet these human milk oligosaccharides offer no direct nutritive value to her infant. A primary function of human milk oligosaccharides is to shape the infant’s intestinal microbiota with life-long consequences. Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis (B. infantis) is unique among gut bacteria in its prodigious capacity to digest and consume any human milk oligosaccharide structure, the result of a large repertoire of bacterial genes encoding an array of glycosidases and oligosaccharide transporters not found in other bacterial species. In vitro, B. infantis grows better than other bacterial strains in the presence of human milk oligosaccharides, displays anti-inflammatory activity in premature intestinal cells, and decreases intestinal permeability. In premature infants, B. infantis given in combination with human milk increases B. infantis and decreases Enterobacteriaceae in the feces. Probiotics containing B. infantis decrease the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants. Colonization with B. infantis is also associated with increased vaccine responses. Probiotic organisms have historically been selected based on ease of production and stability. The advantages of B. infantis, selected through coevolution with human milk glycans, present an opportunity for focused manipulation of the infant intestinal microbiota.
PMCID: PMC4350908  PMID: 25303277
19.  Bifidobacterium animalis Causes Extensive Duodenitis and Mild Colonic Inflammation in Monoassociated Interleukin-10 Deficient Mice 
Inflammatory bowel diseases  2009;15(7):1022-1031.
We recently showed that Bifidobacterium animalis is more prevalent within the colons of IL-10 deficient (−/−) mice than in wild type (WT) animals colonized with the same specific pathogen free (SPF) fecal contents. Here we tested the ability of this organism to cause T cell-mediated intestinal inflammation by introducing it into germ-free (GF) IL-10−/− mice.
GF IL-10−/− or WT mice were monoassociated with Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis ATCC 25527T or with Bifidobacterium infantis ATCC 15697T. Inflammation was measured by blinded histologic scores of the duodenum, cecum and colon and by spontaneous secretion of IL-12/IL-23 p40 from colonic explants. Bacterial antigen-specific CD4+ mesenteric lymph node (MLN) T cell recall responses were measured in response to antigen presenting cells (APC) pulsed with bacterial lysates.
B. animalis caused marked duodenal inflammation and mild colitis in monoassociated IL-10−/− mice, whereas the intestinal tracts of WT animals remained free of inflammation. B. infantis colonization resulted in mild inflammation in the duodena of IL-10−/− mice. CD4+ MLN T cells from B. animalis monoassociated IL-10−/− mice secreted high levels of IFN-γ and IL-17 in response to B. animalis lysate. B. animalis equally colonized the different intestinal regions of WT and IL-10−/− mice.
B. animalis, a traditional probiotic species that is expanded in experimental colitis in this model, induces marked duodenal and mild colonic inflammation and TH1/TH17 immune responses when introduced alone into GF IL-10−/− mice. This suggests a potential pathogenic role for this commensal bacterial species in a susceptible host.
PMCID: PMC2764742  PMID: 19235917
Intestinal inflammation; animal models; IL-10 deficient mice; Bifidobacterium animalis
20.  Epithelial p38α Controls Immune Cell Recruitment in the Colonic Mucosa 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(6):e1000934.
Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) compose the first barrier against microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract. Although the NF-κB pathway in IECs was recently shown to be essential for epithelial integrity and intestinal immune homeostasis, the roles of other inflammatory signaling pathways in immune responses in IECs are still largely unknown. Here we show that p38α in IECs is critical for chemokine expression, subsequent immune cell recruitment into the intestinal mucosa, and clearance of the infected pathogen. Mice with p38α deletion in IECs suffer from a sustained bacterial burden after inoculation with Citrobacter rodentium. These animals are normal in epithelial integrity and immune cell function, but fail to recruit CD4+ T cells into colonic mucosal lesions. The expression of chemokines in IECs is impaired, which appears to be responsible for the impaired T cell recruitment. Thus, p38α in IECs contributes to the host immune responses against enteric bacteria by the recruitment of immune cells.
Author Summary
The cellular responses of intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) to microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract are mediated by activation of a number of intracellular signaling pathways. It was shown that the NF-κB pathway in IECs is essential for epithelial integrity and intestinal immune homeostasis, and here we show that p38α-mediated signaling in IECs is not important for epithelial integrity and immune cell function, but is critical for the clearance of the infected pathogen. p38α in IECs is essential for pathogen-induced chemokine expression in IECs and for subsequent immune cell recruitment into the intestinal mucosa, which leads to the clearance of the infectious pathogen. Our results indicate that different intracellular signaling pathways in IECs mediate distinct cellular responses to microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, and this information should be taken into consideration in the development of pathway-targeted therapeutic interventions for gastrointestinal infection.
PMCID: PMC2880565  PMID: 20532209
21.  Quantitative proteomic analysis of the Salmonella-lettuce interaction 
Microbial Biotechnology  2014;7(6):630-637.
Human pathogens can internalize food crops through root and surface uptake and persist inside crop plants. The goal of the study was to elucidate the global modulation of bacteria and plant protein expression after Salmonella internalizes lettuce. A quantitative proteomic approach was used to analyse the protein expression of Salmonella enterica serovar Infantis and lettuce cultivar Green Salad Bowl 24 h after infiltrating S. Infantis into lettuce leaves. Among the 50 differentially expressed proteins identified by comparing internalized S. Infantis against S. Infantis grown in Luria Broth, proteins involved in glycolysis were down-regulated, while one protein involved in ascorbate uptake was up-regulated. Stress response proteins, especially antioxidant proteins, were up-regulated. The modulation in protein expression suggested that internalized S. Infantis might utilize ascorbate as a carbon source and require multiple stress response proteins to cope with stresses encountered in plants. On the other hand, among the 20 differentially expressed lettuce proteins, proteins involved in defense response to bacteria were up-regulated. Moreover, the secreted effector PipB2 of S. Infantis and R proteins of lettuce were induced after bacterial internalization into lettuce leaves, indicating human pathogen S. Infantis triggered the defense mechanisms of lettuce, which normally responds to plant pathogens.
PMCID: PMC4265081  PMID: 24512637
22.  Commensal Bacteria and Expression of Two Major Intestinal Chemokines, TECK/CCL25 and MEC/CCL28, and Their Receptors 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(7):e677.
CCL25/TECK and CCL28/MEC are CC chemokines primarily expressed in thymic dendritic cells and mucosal epithelial cells. Their receptors, CCR9 and CCR10, are mainly expressed on T and B lymphocytes. In human, mouse, pig and sheep CCL25 and CCL28 play an important role in the segregation and the compartmentalization of the mucosal immune system. As evidenced by early comparisons of germ-free and conventional animals, the intestinal bacterial microflora has a marked effect on host intestinal immune functions. However, little is known about the impact of bacterial colonization on constitutive and induced chemokine expressions as well as on the generation of anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Therefore, we decided to focus by qPCR on the mRNA expression of two main gut chemokines, CCL25 and CCL28, their receptors CCR9 and CCR10, the Tregs marker Foxp3 and anti-inflammatory cytokines TGF-β and IL-10 following colonization with different bacterial species within the small intestine. To accomplish this we used an original germ-free neonatal pig model and monoassociated pigs with a representative Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) or Gram-positive (Lactobacillus fermentum) commensal bacteria commonly isolated from the neonatal pig intestine. Our results show a consistent and marked effect of microbial colonization on the mRNA expression of intestinal chemokines, chemokine receptors, Foxp3 and TGF-β. Moreover, as evidenced by in vitro experiments using two different cell lines, the pattern of regulation of CCL25 and CCL28 expression in the gut appears complex and suggests an additional role for in vivo factors.
Taken together, the results highlight the key role of bacterial microflora in the development of a functional intestinal immune system in an elegant and relevant model for human immune system development.
PMCID: PMC1919421  PMID: 17653288
23.  Anti-Inflammatory Effects of the Nicotinergic Peptides SLURP-1 and SLURP-2 on Human Intestinal Epithelial Cells and Immunocytes 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:609086.
A search for novel and more efficient therapeutic modalities of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of the most important tasks of contemporary medicine. The anti-inflammatory action of nicotine in IBD might be therapeutic, but its toxicity due to off-target and nonreceptor effects limited its use and prompted a search for nontoxic nicotinergic drugs. We tested the hypothesis that SLURP-1 and -2—the physiological nicotinergic substances produced by the human intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) and immunocytes—can mimic the anti-inflammatory effects of nicotine. We used human CCL-241 enterocytes, CCL-248 colonocytes, CCRF-CEM T-cells, and U937 macrophages. SLURP-1 diminished the TLR9-dependent secretion of IL-8 by CCL-241, and IFNγ-induced upregulation of ICAM-1 in both IEC types. rSLURP-2 inhibited IL-1β-induced secretion of IL-6 and TLR4- and TLR9-dependent induction of CXCL10 and IL-8, respectively, in CCL-241. rSLURP-1 decreased production of TNFα by T-cells, downregulated IL-1β and IL-6 secretion by macrophages, and moderately upregulated IL-10 production by both types of immunocytes. SLURP-2 downregulated TNFα and IFNγR in T-cells and reduced IL-6 production by macrophages. Combining both SLURPs amplified their anti-inflammatory effects. Learning the pharmacology of SLURP-1 and -2 actions on enterocytes, colonocytes, T cells, and macrophages may help develop novel effective treatments of IBD.
PMCID: PMC4024406  PMID: 24877120
24.  Flagellin acting via TLR5 is the major activator of key signaling pathways leading to NF-κB and proinflammatory gene program activation in intestinal epithelial cells 
BMC Microbiology  2004;4:33.
Infection of intestinal epithelial cells by pathogenic Salmonella leads to activation of signaling cascades that ultimately initiate the proinflammatory gene program. The transcription factor NF-κB is a key regulator/activator of this gene program and is potently activated. We explored the mechanism by which Salmonella activates NF-κB during infection of cultured intestinal epithelial cells and found that flagellin produced by the bacteria and contained on them leads to NF-κB activation in all the cells; invasion of cells by the bacteria is not required to activate NF-κB.
Purified flagellin activated the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK), stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) and Ikappa B kinase (IKK) signaling pathways that lead to expression of the proinflammatory gene program in a temporal fashion nearly identical to that of infection of intestinal epithelial cells by Salmonella. Flagellin expression was required for Salmonella invasion of host cells and it activated NF-κB via toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5). Surprisingly, a number of cell lines found to be unresponsive to flagellin express TLR5 and expression of exogenous TLR5 in these cells induces NF-κB activity in response to flagellin challenge although not robustly. Conversely, overexpression of dominant-negative TLR5 alleles only partially blocks NF-κB activation by flagellin. These observations are consistent with the possibility of either a very stable TLR5 signaling complex, the existence of a low abundance flagellin co-receptor or required adapter, or both.
These collective results provide the evidence that flagellin acts as the main determinant of Salmonella mediated NF-κB and proinflammatory signaling and gene activation by this flagellated pathogen. In addition, expression of the fli C gene appears to play an important role in the proper functioning of the TTSS since mutants that fail to express fli C are defective in expressing a subset of Sip proteins and fail to invade host cells. Flagellin added in trans cannot restore the ability of the fli C mutant bacteria to invade intestinal epithelial cells. Lastly, TLR5 expression in weak and non-responding cells indicates that additional factors may be required for efficient signal propagation in response to flagellin recognition.
PMCID: PMC516440  PMID: 15324458
25.  Bifidobacteria isolated from infants and cultured on human milk oligosaccharides affect intestinal epithelial function 
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) are the third most abundant component of breast milk. Our laboratory has previously revealed gene clusters specifically linked to HMO metabolism in select bifidobacteria isolated from fecal samples of infants. Our objective was to test the hypothesis that growth of select bifidobacteria on HMO stimulates the intestinal epithelium.
Caco-2 and HT-29 cells were incubated with lactose (LAC) or HMO-grown Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis (B. infantis) or B. bifidum. Bacterial adhesion and translocation was measured by real-time quantitative PCR. Expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and tight junction proteins was analyzed by real time reverse transcriptase. Distribution of tight junction proteins was measured using immunofluorescent microscopy.
We showed that HMO-grown B. infantis had significantly higher rate of adhesion to HT-29 cells compared to B. bifidum. B. infantis also induced expression of a cell membrane glycoprotein, P-selectin glycoprotein ligand -1. Both B. infantis and B. bifidum grown on HMO caused less occludin relocalization and higher expression of anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin (IL)-10 compared to LAC-grown bacteria in Caco-2 cells. B. bifidum grown on HMO showed higher expression of junctional adhesion molecule and occludin in Caco-2 cell and HT-29 cells. There were no significant differences between LAC or HMO treatments in bacterial translocation.
This study provides evidence for the specific relationship between HMO-grown bifidobacteria and intestinal epithelial cells. To our knowledge, this is the first study describing HMO-induced changes in the bifidobacteria-intestinal cells interaction.
PMCID: PMC3381975  PMID: 22383026
milk oligosaccharides; bifidobacteria; intestinal epithelial cells; inflammation

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