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The repertoire of gut associated T cells is shaped by exposure to microbes, including the natural enteric microflora. Previous studies compared the repertoire of gut associated T cell populations in germ free (GF) and conventional mammals often focussing on intra-epithelial lymphocyte compartments. Using GF, conventional and monocolonised (gnotobiotic) chickens and chicken TCRbeta-repertoire analysis techniques, we determined the influence of microbial status on global and regional enteric TCRbeta repertoires. The gut of conventionally reared chickens exhibited non-Gaussian distributions of CDR3-lengths with some shared over-represented peaks in neighbouring gut segments. Sequence analysis revealed local clonal over-representation. Germ-free chickens exhibited a polyclonal, non-selected population of T cells in the spleen and in the gut. In contrast, gnotobiotic chickens exhibited a biased repertoire with shared clones evident throughout the gut. These data indicate the dramatic influence of enteric microflora complexity on the profile of TCRbeta repertoire in the gut at local and global levels.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.dci.2009.11.009

Type

Journal article

Journal

Dev Comp Immunol

Publication Date

04/2010

Volume

34

Pages

406 - 417

Keywords

Animals, Antigens, Bacterial, Cell Differentiation, Cells, Cultured, Chickens, Complementarity Determining Regions, Digestive System, Enterobacteriaceae, Enterobacteriaceae Infections, Germ-Free Life, Immunity, Mucosal, Normal Distribution, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, T-Cell Antigen Receptor Specificity, T-Lymphocytes