Dietary antigens limit mucosal immunity by inducing regulatory T cells in the small intestine

Kwang Soon Kim, Sung Wook Hong, Daehee Han, Jaeu Yi, Jisun Jung, Bo Gie Yang, Jun Young Lee, Minji Lee, Charles D. Surh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dietary antigens are normally rendered nonimmunogenic through a poorly understood "oral tolerance" mechanism that involves immunosuppressive regulatory T (Treg) cells, especially Treg cells induced from conventional T cells in the periphery (pTreg cells). Although orally introducing nominal protein antigens is known to induce such pTreg cells, whether a typical diet induces a population of pTreg cells under normal conditions thus far has been unknown. By using germ-free mice raised and bred on an elemental diet devoid of dietary antigens, we demonstrated that under normal conditions, the vast majority of the small intestinal pTreg cells are induced by dietary antigens from solid foods. Moreover, these pTreg cells have a limited life span, are distinguishable from microbiota-induced pTreg cells, and repress underlying strong immunity to ingested protein antigens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-863
Number of pages6
Issue number6275
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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