Gut Microbiota-Induced Immunoglobulin G Controls Systemic Infection by Symbiotic Bacteria and Pathogens

Immunity. 2016 Mar 15;44(3):647-658. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.02.006. Epub 2016 Mar 2.


The gut microbiota is compartmentalized in the intestinal lumen and induces local immune responses, but it remains unknown whether the gut microbiota can induce systemic response and contribute to systemic immunity. We report that selective gut symbiotic gram-negative bacteria were able to disseminate systemically to induce immunoglobulin G (IgG) response, which primarily targeted gram-negative bacterial antigens and conferred protection against systemic infections by E. coli and Salmonella by directly coating bacteria to promote killing by phagocytes. T cells and Toll-like receptor 4 on B cells were important in the generation of microbiota-specific IgG. We identified murein lipoprotein (MLP), a highly conserved gram-negative outer membrane protein, as a major antigen that induced systemic IgG homeostatically in both mice and humans. Administration of anti-MLP IgG conferred crucial protection against systemic Salmonella infection. Thus, our findings reveal an important function for the gut microbiota in combating systemic infection through the induction of protective IgG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Load / genetics
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / immunology*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Homeostasis / genetics
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Immunoglobulin G / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism*
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microbiota
  • Peptidoglycan / immunology*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / genetics


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Peptidoglycan
  • Tlr2 protein, mouse
  • Tlr4 protein, mouse
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4