Microbial Stimulation Reverses the Age-Related Decline in M Cells in Aged Mice

David Donaldson, Jolinda Pollock, Prerna Vohra, Mark Stevens, Neil Mabbott

Research output: Working paper

Abstract / Description of output

Ageing has a profound effect on the immune system, termed immunosenescence,
resulting in increased incidence and severity of infections and decreased efficacy of vaccinations. We previously showed that immunosurveillance in the intestine,
achieved primarily through antigen sampling M cells in the follicle associated
epithelium (FAE) of Peyer’s patches, was compromised during ageing due to a
decline in M cell functional maturation. The intestinal microbiota also changes
significantly with age, but whether this affects M cell maturation was not known. We show that housing of aged mice on used bedding from young mice, or treatment with bacterial flagellin, were each sufficient to enhance the functional maturation of M cells in Peyer’s patches. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying the influence of the intestinal microbiota on M cells has the potential to lead to new methods to enhance the efficacy of oral vaccination in aged individuals.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherbioRxiv, at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2020


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