Osborne, Horwitz, & Crowe Labs

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Publication link: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2023.1096323/full 

Autoimmune disorders are complex diseases of unclear etiology, although evidence suggests that the convergence of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors are critical. In type 1 diabetes (T1D), enterovirus infection and disruption of the intestinal microbiota are two environmental factors that have been independently associated with T1D onset in both humans and animal models. However, the possible interaction between viral infection and the intestinal microbiota remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that Coxsackievirus B4 (CVB4), an enterovirus that accelerates T1D onset in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, induced restructuring of the intestinal microbiome prior to T1D onset. Microbiome restructuring was associated with an eroded mucosal barrier, bacterial translocation to the pancreatic lymph node, and increased circulating and intestinal commensal-reactive antibodies. The CVB4-induced change in community composition was strikingly similar to that of uninfected NOD mice that spontaneously developed diabetes, implying a mutual “diabetogenic” microbiome. Notably, members of the Bifidobacteria and Akkermansia genera emerged as conspicuous members of this diabetogenic microbiome, implicating these taxa, among others, in diabetes onset. Further, fecal microbiome transfer (FMT) of the diabetogenic microbiota from CVB4-infected mice enhanced T1D susceptibility and led to diminished expression of the short chain fatty acid receptor GPR43 and fewer IL-10-expressing regulatory CD4+ T cells in the intestine of naïve NOD recipients. These findings support an overlap in known environmental risk factors of T1D, and suggest that microbiome disruption and impaired intestinal homeostasis contribute to CVB-enhanced autoreactivity and T1D.