CD4+CD25+ T Cells are Essential for Behavioral Effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 in Male BALB/c mice
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Over the past decade there has been increasing interest in the involvement of the microbiota-gut-brain axis in mental health. However, there are major gaps in our knowledge regarding the complex signaling systems through which gut microbes modulate the CNS. The immune system is a recognized mediator in the bidirectional communication continuously occurring between gut and brain. We previously demonstrated that Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 (JB-1), a bacterial strain that has anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects in mice, modulates the immune system through induction of immunosuppressive T regulatory cells. Here we examined a potential causal relationship between JB-1 induced regulatory T cells and the observed effects on behaviour. We found that depletion of regulatory T cells, via treatment with monoclonal antibody against CD25, inhibited the antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects induced by 4-week oral administration of JB-1 in mice. Ly6Chi monocytes were found to be decreased in JB-1 fed mice with intact regulatory T cells, but not in JB-1 fed mice following depletion. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of CD4+CD25+ cells, from JB-1 treated donor mice, but not from controls, induced antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects in recipient mice. Ly6Chi monocytes were also significantly decreased in mice receiving CD4+CD25+ cells from JB1 fed donors. This study identifies cells within the CD4+CD25+ population, most likely regulatory T cells, as both necessary and sufficient in JB-1-induced antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects in mice, providing novel mechanistic insight into microbiota-gut-brain communication in addition to highlighting the potential for immunotherapy in psychiatric disorders.
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