Pancreatic beta-cells limit autoimmune diabetes: strategic role of gut microbiota

JDiana NBAntimicrobial peptides expressed by epithelial cells are largely described for the defense against pathogens but how they influence autoimmunity in peripheral tissues was unknown. Dr Julien Diana, from INSERM and Descartes University, France, and his team show that the cathelicidin related antimicrobial peptide CRAMP is expressed by the pancreatic endocrine cells. Owing to its immunoregulatory capacities, CRAMP is protective against autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice, a model for type 1 diabetes. They finally demonstrate that the gut microbiota via short-chain fatty acids directly governs the expression of CRAMP in the pancreas revealing the direct role of the gut microbiota in the maintenance of the immune homeostasis in peripheral tissues.

Dr Diana will present this study during the next Targeting Microbiota World Congress which will be held at Pasteur Institute on October 21-23.

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