Immunomodulation by Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 in the murine lamina propria requires retinoic acid-dependent and independent mechanisms

PLoS One. 2013 May 21;8(5):e62617. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062617. Print 2013.


Appropriate dendritic cell processing of the microbiota promotes intestinal homeostasis and protects against aberrant inflammatory responses. Mucosal CD103(+) dendritic cells are able to produce retinoic acid from retinal, however their role in vivo and how they are influenced by specific microbial species has been poorly described. Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 (B. infantis) feeding to mice resulted in increased numbers of CD103(+)retinaldehyde dehydrogenase (RALDH)(+) dendritic cells within the lamina propria (LP). Foxp3(+) lymphocytes were also increased in the LP, while TH1 and TH17 subsets were decreased. 3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadienal (citral) treatment of mice blocked the increase in CD103(+)RALDH(+) dendritic cells and the decrease in TH1 and TH17 lymphocytes, but not the increase in Foxp3(+) lymphocytes. B. infantis reduced the severity of DSS-induced colitis, associated with decreased TH1 and TH17 cells within the LP. Citral treatment confirmed that these effects were RALDH mediated. RALDH(+) dendritic cells decreased within the LP of control inflamed animals, while RALDH(+) dendritic cells numbers were maintained in the LP of B. infantis-fed mice. Thus, CD103(+)RALDH(+) LP dendritic cells are important cellular targets for microbiota-associated effects on mucosal immunoregulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1 Family
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Bifidobacterium / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / immunology
  • Colitis / microbiology
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Immunomodulation / drug effects*
  • Integrin alpha Chains / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Peyer's Patches / drug effects
  • Peyer's Patches / immunology
  • Peyer's Patches / microbiology
  • Peyer's Patches / pathology
  • Phenotype
  • Retinal Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Th17 Cells / drug effects
  • Th17 Cells / immunology
  • Th17 Cells / microbiology
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Foxp3 protein, mouse
  • Integrin alpha Chains
  • Isoenzymes
  • alpha E integrins
  • Tretinoin
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1 Family
  • ALDH1A1 protein, mouse
  • Retinal Dehydrogenase

Grants and funding

The authors are supported by Swiss National Foundation grants (project numbers 32030-132899 and 310030-127356), Christine Kühne Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-CARE) and European Union (EU) Marie Curie grants. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.