CD25 knock-out (CD25KO) mice spontaneously develop Sjögren Syndrome (SS)-like inflammation. We investigated the role of commensal bacteria by comparing CD25KO mice housed in conventional or germ-free conditions. Germ-free CD25KO mice have greater corneal barrier dysfunction, lower goblet cell density, increased total lymphocytic infiltration score, increased expression of IFN-γ, IL-12 and higher a frequency of CD4+IFN-γ+ cells than conventional mice. CD4+ T cells isolated from female germ-free CD25KO mice adoptively transferred to naive immunodeficient RAG1KO recipients caused more severe Sjögren-like disease than CD4+ T cells transferred from conventional CD25KO mice. Fecal transplant in germ-free CD25KO mice reversed the spontaneous dry eye phenotype and decreased the generation of pathogenic CD4+IFN-γ+ cells. Our studies indicate that lack of commensal bacteria accelerates the onset and severity of dacryoadenitis and generates autoreactive CD4+T cells with greater pathogenicity in the CD25KO model, suggesting that the commensal bacteria or their metabolites products have immunoregulatory properties that protect exocrine glands in the CD25KO SS model.
Keywords: CD25KO; Dacryoadenitis; Dry eye; Fecal transplant; Germ-free; Microbiome; Sjögren Syndrome.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.