Microbial Colonization Activates an Immune Fight-and-Flight Response via Neuroendocrine Signaling.


Journal Article

The ability to distinguish harmful and beneficial microbes is critical for the survival of an organism. Here, we show that bloating of the intestinal lumen of Caenorhabditis elegans caused by microbial colonization elicits a microbial aversion behavior. Bloating of the intestinal lumen also activates a broad innate immune response, even in the absence of bacterial pathogens or live bacteria. Neuroendocrine pathway genes are upregulated by intestinal bloating and are required for microbial aversion behavior. We propose that microbial colonization and bloating of the intestine may be perceived as a danger signal that activates an immune fight-and-flight response. These results reveal how inputs from the intestine can aid in the recognition of a broad range of microbes and modulate host behavior via neuroendocrine signaling.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Singh, J; Aballay, A

Published Date

  • April 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 89 - 99.e4

PubMed ID

  • 30827896

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30827896

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-1551

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1534-5807

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.02.001


  • eng