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Role of Microbiota in Immune System Function : Exploring Insights and Interactions

The microbiota plays a crucial role in the induction, training, and functioning of the immune system of the host. The immune system has also evolved largely as a means to maintain the symbiotic relationship of the host with the evolving microorganisms.(1) This article talks about the role of microbiota in immune system function.

Exploring Role Of Microbiota In Immune System Function

A Short Note On Microbiota

The intestine is the largest surface in our body and is exposed to dietary and bacterial antigens along with potentially noxious substances and infectious agents constantly, and this threatens the balance between health and disease.(2)

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract in mammals harbors a complex microbial community, composed of thousands of different species of bacteria, fungi, viruses, protists, and archaea. This complex microbial community is known as the intestinal microbiota.(3) This microbial community plays a major role in the digestive process, and protection against colonization with pathogens, and also influences the maturation and function of the human intestinal immune system.(4, 5)

Overview Of The Immune System

Our immune system is composed of a complex network of innate and adaptive cells and different components with extraordinary abilities to respond to diverse challenges. This cellular network collectively functions as a regulator of host homeostasis to sustain and restore the function of tissues in response to microbial and environmental encounters in the body.

Interaction of Microbiota With The Immune System

The interaction between the commensal microbiota and the immune system development and its function includes multifold interactions in homeostasis and disease. The microbiota plays a vital role in the training as well as the development of major components of the innate and adaptive immune system of the host, and the host’s immune system helps in the maintenance of key features of host-microbe symbiosis.

Microbiota-Immune System Interaction: Exploring the Relationship

Homeostasis is important, with commensal microbes being essential for the proper maturation of the immune system.(6) Studies on germ-free (GF) mice or animals treated with antibiotics support the fundamental role of the microbiota that the development of immune system function.(7)

Microbiota can modulate the production of antibodies by ATP generation through a mechanism that includes P2*7-mediated signaling of T-follicular helper cells. This also restricts the generation of protective Immunoglobulin (Ig) A, against enteropathogens.(8)

Studies That Shows The Role Played By Microbiota In Immune System Function

The immune defense of the human body is part of a complex biological response against viruses, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens. However, human bodies are inhabited by trillions of beneficial pathogens like bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and thus, the activation of our immune response is strongly regulated to distinguish between harmful and beneficial microorganisms.

The beneficial bacteria in our bodies help the immune system of our body to strongly combat infections. A seminal study has examined mice who were treated with antibiotics that eliminate bacteria in the gut, showing an impaired immune response. These animals had low counts of WBCs that fight against viruses, had weak antibody responses, and also poor production of a protein significant for combating viral infection and modulating the response of the immune system.(9)

In another study, Lactobacillus bacteria were fed to mice. These are the bacteria used as probiotics in fermented foods. These microorganisms reduced the severity of influenza infection.(10)

Conclusion: The Crucial Role of Microbiota in Immune System Function 

The human immune system is a complex network of cells, organs, and proteins that defends our body against infection and prevent us from diseases. Microbiota plays a crucial role in the functioning of the immune system. In return, our immune system has also evolved largely as a means to maintain the symbiotic relationship of the host with the beneficial microorganisms in the body.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 11, 2023

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