Research press release


Nature Medicine

Microbes in the lung protect from asthma



Benjamin J Marslandたちは、マウス新生仔を抗原に曝露すると肺の炎症などの気道疾患を発症しやすいのに、もっと後になると同じ抗原に対しても耐性になり、成体では病気を発症しない。2か月の間に肺には微生物がすみつき、それが、抗炎症作用を持ち気道疾患や喘息を抑制するある種の免疫細胞の発生を引き起こす。マウスを無菌条件下に置いて微生物の定着が起こらないようにすると、このマウスは抗原感受性になり、成体になってから気道疾患にかかる。この研究から、発生の初期には微生物の肺への定着に適した時期があって、この定着が免疫細胞の発生に影響を及ぼすことが明らかになり、ある種の微生物が新生児を守る役割をするという疫学データが裏付けられた。

Colonization of mice lungs by microbes shortly after birth helps protect them from developing asthma in adulthood, according to a study published this week in Nature Medicine. These findings highlight the influence of environmental factors early in life on the appropriate development and maturation of the immune system.

Although the lungs are sterile at birth, they progressively are colonized by microbes. Whether this event alters immune cell development or susceptibility to disease later in life remains unclear.

Benjamin J Marsland and colleagues show that newborn mice were prone to develop airway disease, including inflammation in the lungs, when challenged with an allergen, but were later tolerant to the allergen and did not develop disease as adults. Over the course of two months, the lungs were colonized by microbes, which led to the development of a subset of immune cells that are anti-inflammatory and can suppress airway disease and asthma. Keeping mice in sterile conditions to prevent this colonization rendered these mice sensitive to allergens and resulted in airway disease as adults. This research uncovers a developmental window early in life during which colonization of the lung by microbes influences immune cell development and supports epidemiological data on the protective role of certain microbes in neonates.

doi: 10.1038/nm.3568


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