Role of gut microbiota in immune system development
The gut microbiota is a complex of intestinal microorganisms acquired in early life, which participate in the development of the immune system. Recent research revealed that a transient intestinal inflammatory state, the ‘weaning reaction’, occurs in mice in early life in response to rapid diversification of the gut microbiota. The microbiota and its metabolites in this weaning state induce a sub-type of intestine T regulatory cells, which regulate immune reactivity for the rest of one’s life. The EU-funded IMPRINT project will elucidate the role of the gut microbiota in the immune system in early life and its significance for susceptibility to infection and immunopathologies, such as allergies and colitis, later in life.