免疫(IMMUNITY)2013-09-05 2:57 AM

Immunity - Dendritic Cell Expression of the Signaling Molecule TRAF6 Is Critical for Gut Microbiota-Dependent Immune Tolerance

The intracellular signaling molecule TRAF6 is critical for Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated activation of dendritic cells (DCs). We now report that DC-specific deletion of TRAF6 (TRAF6ΔDC) resulted, unexpectedly, in loss of mucosal tolerance, characterized by spontaneous development of T helper 2 (Th2) cells in the lamina propria and eosinophilic enteritis and fibrosis in the small intestine. Loss of tolerance required the presence of gut commensal microbiota but was independent of DC-expressed MyD88. Further, TRAF6ΔDC mice exhibited decreased regulatory T (Treg) cell numbers in the small intestine and diminished induction of iTreg cells in response to model antigen. Evidence suggested that this defect was associated with diminished DC expression of interleukin-2 (IL-2). Finally, we demonstrate that aberrant Th2 cell-associated responses in TRAF6ΔDC mice could be mitigated via restoration of Treg cell activity. Collectively, our findings reveal a role for TRAF6 in directing DC maintenance of intestinal immune tolerance through balanced induction of Treg versus Th2 cell immunity.

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