Gut microbiota (GM) dysbiosis is associated with inflammatory bowel diseases and also with cardiometabolic, neurologic, and autoimmune diseases. GM composition has a direct effect on the immune system, and vice versa, and particularly on regulatory T cell (Treg) homeostasis. Low-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2LD) stimulates Tregs and is a promising treatment for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. We aimed to evaluate the impacts of IL-2LD on GM, and correlatively on the immune system. We used 16S ribosomal RNA profiling and metagenomics to characterize GM of mice and humans treated or not with IL-2LD. We performed faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from IL-2LD-treated to naïve recipient mice and evaluated its effects in models of gut inflammation and diabetes. IL-2LD markedly affects GM composition in mice and humans. Transfer of an IL-2-tuned microbiota by FMT protected C57BL/6J mice from dextran sulphate sodium-induced colitis and prevented diabetes in NOD mice. Metagenomic analyses highlighted a role for several species impacted by IL-2LD and for microbial pathways involved in the biosynthesis of amino acids, short-chain fatty acids, and L-arginine. Our results demonstrate that IL-2LD induces changes in GM that are involved in the immunoregulatory effects of IL-2LD and suggest a cross-talk between Tregs and GM. These results provide novel insights for understanding the mode of action of Treg-directed therapies.
Nicolas Tchitchek, Otriv Nguekap Tchoumba, Gabriel Pires, Sarah Dandou, Julien Campagne, Guillaume Churlaud, Gwladys Fourcade, Thomas W. Hoffmann, Francesco Strozzi, Camille Gaal, Christophe Bonny, Emmanuelle Le Chatelier, Stanislav Dusko Erlich, Harry Sokol, David Klatzmann