Extracellular vesicles produced by the human commensal gut bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron affect host immune pathways in a cell-type specific manner that are altered in inflammatory bowel disease

Lejla Gul, Dezso Modos, Sonia Fonseca, Matthew Madgwick, John P. Thomas, Padhmanand Sudhakar, Catherine Booth, Régis Stentz, Simon R. Carding, Tamas Korcsmaros

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The gastrointestinal (GI) tract harbours a complex microbial community, which contributes to its homeostasis. A disrupted microbiome can cause GI-related diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), therefore identifying host-microbe interactions is crucial for better understanding gut health. Bacterial extracellular vesicles (BEVs), released into the gut lumen, can cross the mucus layer and access underlying immune cells. To study BEV-host interactions, we examined the influence of BEVs generated by the gut commensal bacterium, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, on host immune cells. Single-cell RNA sequencing data and host-microbe protein-protein interaction networks were used to predict the effect of BEVs on dendritic cells, macrophages and monocytes focusing on the Toll-like receptor (TLR) pathway. We identified biological processes affected in each immune cell type and cell-type specific processes including myeloid cell differentiation. TLR pathway analysis highlighted that BEV targets differ among cells and between the same cells in healthy versus disease (ulcerative colitis) conditions. The in silico findings were validated in BEV-monocyte co-cultures demonstrating the requirement for TLR4 and Toll-interleukin-1 receptor domain-containing adaptor protein (TIRAP) in BEV-elicited NF-kB activation. This study demonstrates that both cell-type and health status influence BEV-host communication. The results and the pipeline could facilitate BEV-based therapies for the treatment of IBD.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12189
JournalJournal of Extracellular Vesicles
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

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