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The Ets Transcription Factor Spi-B is Essential for the Differentiation of Intestinal Microfold (M) Cells. (Hiroshi OHNO (RIKEN) & Tsuneyasu KAISHO (IFReC) in Nat Immunol)

Intestinal microfold cells (M cells) are an enigmatic lineage of intestinal epithelial cells that initiate mucosal immune responses through the uptake and transcytosis of luminal antigens. The mechanisms of M-cell differentiation are poorly understood, as the rarity of these cells has hampered analysis.

Exogenous administration of the cytokine RANKL can synchronously activate M-cell differentiation in mice. The authors show the Ets transcription factor Spi-B was induced early during M-cell differentiation. Absence of Spi-B silenced the expression of various M-cell markers and prevented the differentiation of M cells in mice. The activation of T cells via an oral route was substantially impaired in the intestine of Spi-B-deficient (Spib-/-) mice. Their study demonstrates that commitment to the intestinal M-cell lineage requires Spi-B as a candidate master regulator.



Tsuneyasu KAISHO
Immune Regulation
Immunology Frontier Research Center (WPI-IFReC), Osaka University