Regional and global changes in TCRalphabeta T cell repertoires in the gut are dependent upon the complexity of the enteric microflora.
Mwangi WN., Beal RK., Powers C., Wu X., Humphrey T., Watson M., Bailey M., Friedman A., Smith AL.
The repertoire of gut associated T cells is shaped by exposure to microbes, including the natural enteric microflora. Previous studies compared the repertoire of gut associated T cell populations in germ free (GF) and conventional mammals often focussing on intra-epithelial lymphocyte compartments. Using GF, conventional and monocolonised (gnotobiotic) chickens and chicken TCRbeta-repertoire analysis techniques, we determined the influence of microbial status on global and regional enteric TCRbeta repertoires. The gut of conventionally reared chickens exhibited non-Gaussian distributions of CDR3-lengths with some shared over-represented peaks in neighbouring gut segments. Sequence analysis revealed local clonal over-representation. Germ-free chickens exhibited a polyclonal, non-selected population of T cells in the spleen and in the gut. In contrast, gnotobiotic chickens exhibited a biased repertoire with shared clones evident throughout the gut. These data indicate the dramatic influence of enteric microflora complexity on the profile of TCRbeta repertoire in the gut at local and global levels.