On-going Mechanical Damage from Mastication Drives Homeostatic Th17 Cell Responses at the Oral Barrier Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Immuno-surveillance networks operating at barrier sites are tuned by local tissue cues to ensure effective immunity. Site-specific commensal bacteria provide key signals ensuring host defense in the skin and gut. However, how the oral microbiome and tissue-specific signals balance immunity and regulation at the gingiva, a key oral barrier, remains minimally explored. In contrast to the skin and gut, we demonstrate that gingiva-resident T helper 17 (Th17) cells developed via a commensal colonization-independent mechanism. Accumulation of Th17 cells at the gingiva was driven in response to the physiological barrier damage that occurs during mastication. Physiological mechanical damage, via induction of interleukin 6 (IL-6) from epithelial cells, tailored effector T cell function, promoting increases in gingival Th17 cell numbers. These data highlight that diverse tissue-specific mechanisms govern education of Th17 cell responses and demonstrate that mechanical damage helps define the immune tone of this important oral barrier.


  • Dutzan, Nicolas
  • Abusleme, Loreto
  • Bridgeman, Hayley
  • Greenwell-Wild, Teresa
  • Zangerle-Murray, Tamsin
  • Fife, Mark E
  • Bouladoux, Nicolas
  • Linley, Holly
  • Brenchley, Laurie
  • Wemyss, Kelly
  • Calderon, Gloria
  • Hong, Bo-Young
  • Break, Timothy J
  • Bowdish, Dawn
  • Lionakis, Michail S
  • Jones, Simon A
  • Trinchieri, Giorgio
  • Diaz, Patricia I
  • Belkaid, Yasmine
  • Konkel, Joanne E
  • Moutsopoulos, Niki M

publication date

  • January 2017