Influence of intestinal bacteria on induction of regulatory T cells: lessons from a transfer model of colitis
Ok–follow this one closely because it’s important. Take white blood cells from a mouse that has never been exposed to any bacteria along with white blood cells from another mouse that was grown normally with exposure to bacteria. When the white blood cells from a sterile mouse are put into another mouse, that mouse develops intestinal inflammation (consistent w/ colitis, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis) sooner than when white blood cells from the normally grown mice are given. Additionally, when these types of WBCs are given to mice with colitis, the sterile mouse WBCs had no effect, but the normal WBCs were able to calm the disease.
So what does this mean? It means that the WBCs from normally grown mice have the ability to control or even stop the intestinal inflammation, but WBCs from the sterile mice do not have this control. This strongly supports the idea that destruction of normal bacterial flora in an infant with a developing immune system can have long reaching, damaging effects on their long term intestinal health.