During colonization of germfree mice with the total fecal microbial community of their conventionally born and raised siblings (conventionalization), the intestinal mucosal immune system initiates and maintains a balanced immune response. However, the genetic regulation of these balanced, appropriate responses to the microbiota is obscure. Here, combined analysis of germfree and conventionalized mice revealed that the major molecular responses could be detected initiating at day 4 post conventionalization, with a strong induction of innate immune functions followed by stimulation of adaptive immune responses and development and expansion of adaptive immune cells at later stages of conventionalization. This study provides a comprehensive overview of mouse developmental and immune-related cellular pathways and processes that were co-mediated by the commensal microbiota and suggests which mechanisms were involved in this reprogramming. The dynamic, region-dependent mucosal responses to the colonizing microbiota revealed potential transcriptional signatures for the control of intestinal homeostasis in healthy mice, which may help to decipher the genetic basis of pathway dysregulation in human intestinal inflammatory diseases
- t-cell development
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Identification of the core gene-regulatory network that governs the dynamic adaptation of intestinal homeostasis during conventionalization in mice