Microbial Signatures and Innate Immune Gene Expression in Lamina Propria Phagocytes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients

Rishu Dheer, Julie M. Davies, Maria A. Quintero, Oriana M. Damas, Amar R. Deshpande, David H. Kerman, William Peter Sawyer, Judith Pignac-Kobinger, Yuguang Ban, Irina Fernandez, Juan F. Burgueno, Matthew C. Phillips, Maria T. Abreu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: The interaction between intestinal microbiota and the immune system plays a vital role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Although numerous deep-sequencing studies have suggested dysbiosis in IBD, identifying specific bacteria from the stool or mucosa that are responsible for disease susceptibility or severity has remained a challenge. Lamina propria phagocytes ideally are localized to interact with bacteria that are in close proximity to, or have invaded, the tissue. Thus, we examined the microbial populations associated with the lamina propria phagocytes in 20 Crohn's disease and 12 ulcerative colitis patients. Specifically, we aimed to address whether the phagocyte-associated microbiota differed from the mucosa-associated microbiota and whether this varied based on IBD type or the state of inflammation. Methods: 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing and innate immune gene expression profiling was done on CD11b+ lamina propria phagocytes isolated from the biopsies obtained from IBD patients. Results: Phagocyte-associated microbiota was enriched in bacterial species belonging to phylum Proteobacteria, whereas species belonging to phylum Bacteroidetes were enriched in the mucosal microbiota of IBD patients. Disease type was the most influential factor in driving differences in the microbiota of both the mucosa and the lamina propria phagocytes, irrespective of inflammation state o‘r anatomic location. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis specimens showed similar patterns of increased inflammatory gene expression in phagocytes isolated from inflamed areas compared with those isolated from uninflamed regions. Conclusions: This pilot study shows the feasibility of using lamina propria phagocytes to characterize the microbiota in IBD patients. The approach used in this study can narrow the spectrum of potentially dysbiotic bacterial populations and clinically relevant gene expression signatures in IBD patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-402
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • Crohn's Disease
  • Microbiota
  • Mucosa
  • Nanostring
  • Ulcerative Colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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