Akkermansia muciniphila and Parabacteroides distasonis synergistically protect from colitis by promoting ILC3 in the gut

Joana Gaifem*, Ana Mendes-Frias, Mathis Wolter, Alex Steimle, Maria Jose Garzón, Carles Ubeda, Clarisse Nobre, Abigail González, Salomé S. Pinho, Cristina Cunha, Agostinho Carvalho, António Gil Castro, Mahesh S. Desai, Fernando Rodrigues, Ricardo Silvestre*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Inflammatorybowel disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatoryconditions of the gastrointestinal tract. The etiology of IBD remains elusive, but the disease is suggested to arise from the interaction of environmental and genetic factors that trigger inadequate immune responses and inflammationin the intestine. The gut microbiome majorly contributes to disease as an environmental variable, and although some causative bacteria are identified,little is known about which specificmembers of the microbiome aid in the intestinal epithelial barrier function to protect from disease. While chemically inducing colitis in mice from two distinct animal facilities, we serendipitously found that mice in one facility showed remarkable resistance to disease development, which was associated with increased markers of epithelial barrier integrity. Importantly, we show that Akkermansia muciniphila and Parabacteroides distasonis were significantlyincreased in the microbiota of resistant mice. To causally connect these microbes to protection against disease, we colonized susceptible mice with the two bacterial species. Our results demonstrate that A. muciniphila and P. distasonis synergistically drive a protective effectin both acute and chronic models of colitis by boosting the frequency of type 3 innate lymphoid cells in the colon and by improving gut epithelial integrity. Altogether, our work reveals a combined effortof commensal microbes in offeringprotection against severe intestinal inflammationby shaping gut immunity and by enhancing intestinal epithelial barrier stability. Our study highlights the beneficialrole of gut bacteria in dictating intestinal homeostasis, which is an important step toward employing microbiome-driven therapeutic approaches for IBD clinical management.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2024


  • Akkermansia muciniphila
  • colitis
  • gut immunity
  • ILC
  • microbiome
  • Parabacteroides distasonis


Dive into the research topics of 'Akkermansia muciniphila and Parabacteroides distasonis synergistically protect from colitis by promoting ILC3 in the gut'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this