A dominant, coordinated T regulatory cell-IgA response to the intestinal microbiota

Yingzi Cong*, Ting Feng, Kohtaro Fujihashi, Trenton R. Schoeb, Charles O. Elson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

356 Scopus citations


A T cell receptor transgenic mouse line reactive to a microbiota flagellin, CBir1, was used to define mechanisms of host microbiota homeostasis. Intestinal IgA, but not serum IgA, was found to block mucosal flagellin uptake and systemic T cell activation in mice. Depletion of CD4+CD25+ Tregs decreased IgA+ B cells, total IgA, and CBir1-specific IgA in gut within days. Repletion of T cell-deficient mice with either CD4 +CD25+ or CD4+foxp3+ Tregs restored intestinal IgA to a much greater extent than their reciprocal CD4+ subsets, indicating that Tregs are the major helper cells for IgA responses to microbiota antigens such as flagellin. We propose that the major role of this coordinated Treg-IgA response is to maintain commensalism with the microbiota.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19256-19261
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 17 2009


  • T cells
  • TGF-beta
  • Tregs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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