Variation in Microbiome LPS Immunogenicity Contributes to Autoimmunity in Humans

According to the hygiene hypothesis, the increasing incidence of autoimmune diseases in western countries may be explained by changes in early microbial exposure, leading to altered immune maturation. We followed gut microbiome development from birth until age three in 222 infants in Northern Europe, where early-onset autoimmune diseases are common in Finland and Estonia but are less prevalent in Russia. We found that Bacteroides species are lowly abundant in Russians but dominate in Finnish and Estonian infants. Therefore, their lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposures arose primarily from Bacteroides rather than from Escherichia coli, which is a potent innate immune activator. We show that Bacteroides LPS is structurally distinct from E. coli LPS and inhibits innate immune signaling and endotoxin tolerance; furthermore, unlike LPS from E. coli, B. dorei LPS does not decrease incidence of autoimmune diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. Early colonization by immunologically silencing microbiota may thus preclude aspects of immune education.
Vatanen T et al. (Xavier Lab)
Cell. 2016 May 5;165(4):842-53. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.04.007. Epub 2016 Apr 28
Paper featured at the Broad Institute

One thought on “Variation in Microbiome LPS Immunogenicity Contributes to Autoimmunity in Humans”

  1. Sen says:

    I’m curious if the research into the differences between Russians and Finnish and Estonian infants also researched how water treatment is handled in these countries. Are there differences in the microbes in the water they drink, and was the water tested by the researchers?

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