Gut microbiota-mediated secondary bile acids regulate dendritic cells to attenuate autoimmune uveitis through TGR5 signaling

Cell Rep. 2021 Sep 21;36(12):109726. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109726.


Gut microbiota-mediated secondary bile acids (BAs) play an important role in energy balance and host metabolism via G protein-coupled receptors and/or nuclear receptors. Emerging evidence suggests that BAs are important for maintaining innate immune responses via these receptors. However, the effect of BAs on autoimmune uveitis is still unknown. Here, we demonstrate decreased microbiota-related secondary BA concentration in feces and serum of animals with experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). Restoration of the gut BAs pool attenuates severity of EAU in association with inhibition of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)-related pro-inflammatory cytokines in dendritic cells (DCs). TGR5 deficiency partially reverses the inhibitory effect of deoxycholic acid (DCA) on DCs. TGR5 signaling also inhibits NF-κB activation via the cyclic AMP (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA) pathway in DCs. Additionally, both DCA and TGR5 agonists inhibit human monocyte-derived DC activation. Taken together, our results suggest that BA metabolism plays an important role in adaptive immune responses and might be a therapeutic target in autoimmune uveitis.

Keywords: TGR5; autoimmune disease; bile acids; dendritic cells; uveitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / deficiency
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Uveitis / metabolism
  • Uveitis / pathology*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Gpbar1 protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases