Dietary antigens affect the adaptive immunity of the host by inducing regulatory T cells and IgE-producing B cells. However, their roles in innate immune compartments such as innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) and intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) are unclear. Here, using antigen-free (AF) mice, which are germ-free (GF) mice fed with amino-acid-based diet, we found dietary proteins suppress the development of GATA-3-expressing ILC2s independent of the adaptive immune cells. These cells produce more type 2 cytokines and upregulated proliferation and activation markers such as Ki-67, CD69, and CD25. With this, AF mice had increased expressions of tuft cell-specific transcripts such as Il25, Il33, Dclk1, Trpm5, and Pou2f3 in IECs. Accordingly, expanded ILC2s upregulated IL-17RB, a receptor of IL-25, and their proliferation was blocked by IL-25 neutralizing or IL-17RB blocking antibodies. These results suggest a new dialogue between dietary antigens, IECs, and ILCs in which dietary antigens suppress ILC2 activation and proliferation by restraining homeostatic IL-25 production, potentially limiting type 2 immunity by food antigens.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Charles D. Surh, who made a significant contribution to the research, passed away during the project development. This research has been supported by the Korean Ministry of Science, Information/Communication Technology, and Future Planning (2021R1A4A1031754, 2021R1F1A1054395 and 2022R1A2C1007692).
© 2022, The Author(s).