The impact of the Th17:Treg axis on the IgA-Biome across the glycemic spectrum

Heather T. Essigmann, Kristi L. Hoffman, Joseph F. Petrosino, Goo Jun, David Aguilar, Craig L. Hanis, Herbert L. DuPont, Eric L. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Secretory IgA (SIgA) is released into mucosal surfaces where its function extends beyond that of host defense to include the shaping of resident microbial communities by mediating exclusion/inclusion of respective microbes and regulating bacterial gene expression. In this capacity, SIgA acts as the fulcrum on which host immunity and the health of the microbiota are balanced. We recently completed an analysis of the gut and salivary IgA-Biomes (16S rDNA sequencing of SIgA-coated/uncoated bacteria) in Mexican-American adults that identified IgA-Biome differences across the glycemic spectrum. As Th17:Treg ratio imbalances are associated with gut microbiome dysbiosis and chronic inflammatory conditions such as type 2 diabetes, the present study extends our prior work by examining the impact of Th17: Treg ratios (pro-inflammatory:anti-inflammatory T-cell ratios) and the SIgA response (Th17: Treg-SIgA axis) in shaping microbial communities. Examining the impact of Th17:Treg ratios (determined by epigenetic qPCR lymphocyte subset quantification) on the IgA-Biome across diabetes phenotypes identified a proportional relationship between Th17:Treg ratios and alpha diversity in the stool IgA-Biome of those with dysglycemia, significant changes in community composition of the stool and salivary microbiomes across glycemic profiles, and genera preferentially abundant by T-cell inflammatory phenotype. This is the first study to associate epigenetically quantified Th17:Treg ratios with both the larger and SIgA-fractionated microbiome, assess these associations in the context of a chronic inflammatory disease, and offers a novel frame through which to evaluate mucosal microbiomes in the context of host responses and inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0258812
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10 October 2021
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Essigmann et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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