Intestinal Epithelial and Intraepithelial T Cell Crosstalk Mediates a Dynamic Response to Infection

Cell. 2017 Nov 2;171(4):783-794.e13. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.08.046. Epub 2017 Sep 21.


Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) are located at the critical interface between the intestinal lumen, which is chronically exposed to food and microbes, and the core of the body. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques and intersectional genetic tools, we investigated the nature of IEL responses to luminal microbes. We observed that TCRγδ IELs exhibit unique microbiota-dependent location and movement patterns in the epithelial compartment. This behavioral pattern quickly changes upon exposure to different enteric pathogens, resulting in increased interepithelial cell (EC) scanning, expression of antimicrobial genes, and glycolysis. Both dynamic and metabolic changes to γδ IEL depend on pathogen sensing by ECs. Direct modulation of glycolysis is sufficient to change γδ IEL behavior and susceptibility to early pathogen invasion. Our results uncover a coordinated EC-IEL response to enteric infections that modulates lymphocyte energy utilization and dynamics and supports maintenance of the intestinal epithelial barrier. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Keywords: IELs; gammadelta glycolysis; intestine; lymphocytes; microbiota; mucosal imaging; multiphoton; myd88.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Immunologic Surveillance
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestines / cytology*
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Salmonella Infections / immunology*
  • Salmonella Infections / microbiology
  • Salmonella typhimurium / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*