Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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.

Original publication




Journal article


Dev Comp Immunol

Publication Date





406 - 417


Animals, Antigens, Bacterial, Cell Differentiation, Cells, Cultured, Chickens, Complementarity Determining Regions, Digestive System, Enterobacteriaceae, Enterobacteriaceae Infections, Germ-Free Life, Immunity, Mucosal, Normal Distribution, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, T-Cell Antigen Receptor Specificity, T-Lymphocytes