The number of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) expressing the αβ T cell receptor (TCR) is greatly reduced in axenic mice in addition to a reduced cytotoxic ability of these cells, although no difference was found in the number of γδ TCR-positive IELs [16–18]. While the intestinal microflora has essential beneficial functions, this same endogenous non-pathogenic microflora and/or its antigens are also implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic intestinal inflammation during inflammatory bowel diseases . Several axenic rodent models of chronic intestinal MI-503 mouse inflammation
have demonstrated that disease development is dependent upon bacterial colonization [6,7,20]. While healthy wild-type animals have developed tolerance to their endogenous intestinal microflora, animals that are genetically prone to develop chronic intestinal inflammation lack
this tolerance and mount an uncontrolled immune response to enteric bacteria and/or their components. This response is apparent locally in the mucosal, gastrointestinal compartment as well as systemically and involves both humoral and cellular immune responses [21,22]. Our results indicate that acquisition of the normal faecal endogenous flora later in life can induce a transient intestinal inflammation. Mice that are kept in axenic conditions while their immune system matures without exposure to bacterial antigens lack tolerance to endogenous microflora. Thus, without previous exposure to luminal Selleckchem Tigecycline microflora, if faecal and bacterial antigens are encountered in the presence of a mature immune system a rapid-onset mucosal and systemic immune response ensues. The first response appears to be dominated by a local intestinal innate response that is skewed towards T helper type 1 (Th1) proinflammatory cytokine production. Early transient activation of proinflammatory gene expression and innate signal transduction has been demonstrated in intestinal epithelial cell lines and naive epithelial cells isolated following monoassociation of axenic Phosphoglycerate kinase rats with probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis, suggesting a role for
activation of proinflammatory transcription factors in initiating epithelial cell homeostasis at an early stage of bacterial colonization . Here we show that the initial proinflammatory response is followed by a response that appears to be dominated by the adaptive immune system characterized by systemic activation of antigen-specific lymphocytes and a subsequent infiltration of immune cells in the intestinal tissue. The latter may be facilitated by the increase in intestinal G-CSF. The initial relative abundance of mucosal proinflammatory cytokines instigates a transient colonic inflammation that then resolves, in conjunction with a subsequent anti-inflammatory response and establishment of a homeostatic cytokine balance.