The antibacterial lectin RegIIIγ promotes the spatial segregation of microbiota and host in the intestine

Shipra Vaishnava, Miwako Yamamoto, Kari M. Severson, Kelly A. Ruhn, Xiaofei Yu, Omry Koren, Ruth Ley, Edward K. Wakeland, Lora V. Hooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

717 Scopus citations


The mammalian intestine is home to ~100 trillion bacteria that performimportant metabolic functions for their hosts. The proximity of vast numbers of bacteria to host intestinal tissues raises the question of how symbiotic host-bacterial relationships are maintained without eliciting potentially harmful immune responses. Here, we show that RegIIIg, a secreted antibacterial lectin, is essential for maintaining a ~50-micrometer zone that physically separates the microbiota from the small intestinal epithelial surface. Loss of host-bacterial segregation in RegIIIγ-/- mice was coupled to increased bacterial colonization of the intestinal epithelial surface and enhanced activation of intestinal adaptive immune responses by the microbiota. Together, our findings reveal that Reglllγ is a fundamental immune mechanism that promotes host-bacterial mutualism by regulating the spatial relationships between microbiota and host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-258
Number of pages4
Issue number6053
StatePublished - Oct 14 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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