Thymus Teaches Immune Cells to Tolerate Gut Bacteria
The thymus, the immune organ nestled near the heart, “educates” T-lymphocytes (T cells), which are critical cells of the adaptive immune system.
Researchers at the Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University show that the regulatory T cells, or Tregs, teach the immune system to ignore the essential foreign bacteria in the gut that helps you digest and absorb food. Their study is published in the journal Nature.
When immune cells recognize essential gut bacteria as foreign, inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can result.