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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00608

Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Provide Protection Against Bacterial-Induced Colitis

  • 1The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Australia

We have examined the influence of depleting plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) in mice on the immune response to the gut pathogen Citrobacter rodentium, an organism that is a model for human attaching effacing pathogens such as enterohaemorraghic E. coli. A significantly higher number of C. rodentium were found in mice depleted of pDC from 7 days after infection and pDC depleted mice showed increased gut pathology and higher levels of inflammatory cytokines in the colon upon infection. pDC-depletion led to compromising of the gut mucosal barrier that may have contributed to increased numbers of C. rodentium in systemic organs. pDC-depleted mice infected with C. rodentium suffered substantial weight loss necessitating euthanasia. A number of observations suggested that this was not simply the result of dysregulation of immunity in the colon as pDC-depleted mice infected intravenously with C. rodentium also exhibited exacerbated weight loss, arguing that pDC influence systemic immune responses. Overall, these data indicate that pDC contribute at multiple levels to immunity to C rodentium including control of bacterial numbers in the colon, maintenance of colon barrier function and regulation of immune responses to disseminated bacteria.

Keywords: Plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs), Citrobacter rodentium, bacterial gut pathogen, Colitis, cytokine

Received: 27 Sep 2018; Accepted: 07 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Julio Aliberti, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), United States

Reviewed by:

Manuel Vilanova, Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of Porto, Portugal
Werner Solbach, Universität zu Lübeck, Germany  

Copyright: © 2019 Rahman, Brown, Hartland, Van Driel and Fung. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Ian Van Driel, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 3010, Victoria, Australia,