Akkermansia muciniphila induces intestinal adaptive immune responses during homeostasis

Science. 2019 Jun 21;364(6446):1179-1184. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw7479.


Intestinal adaptive immune responses influence host health, yet only a few intestinal bacteria species that induce cognate adaptive immune responses during homeostasis have been identified. Here, we show that Akkermansia muciniphila, an intestinal bacterium associated with systemic effects on host metabolism and PD-1 checkpoint immunotherapy, induces immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies and antigen-specific T cell responses in mice. Unlike previously characterized mucosal responses, T cell responses to A. muciniphila are limited to T follicular helper cells in a gnotobiotic setting, without appreciable induction of other T helper fates or migration to the lamina propria. However, A. muciniphila-specific responses are context dependent and adopt other fates in conventional mice. These findings suggest that, during homeostasis, contextual signals influence T cell responses to the microbiota and modulate host immune function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity*
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / immunology*
  • Germ-Free Life
  • Homeostasis*
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology
  • Verrucomicrobia / immunology*


  • Immunoglobulin G