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IL-23 favours outgrowth of spondyloarthritis-associated pathobionts and suppresses host support for homeostatic microbiota

Abstract

Objectives Certain gut bacterial families, including Bacteroidaceae, Porphyromonadaceae and Prevotellaceae, are increased in people suffering from spondyloarthropathy (SpA), a disease group associated with IL23R signalling variants. To understand the relationship between host interleukin (IL)-23 signalling and gut bacterial dysbiosis in SpA, we inhibited IL-23 in dysbiotic ZAP-70-mutant SKG mice that develop IL-23-dependent SpA-like arthritis, psoriasis-like skin inflammation and Crohn’s-like ileitis in response to microbial beta 1,3-glucan (curdlan).

Methods We treated SKG mice weekly with anti-IL-23 or isotype mAb for 3 weeks, rested them for 3 weeks, then administered curdlan or saline. We collected faecal samples longitudinally, assessed arthritis, spondylitis, psoriasis and ileitis histologically, and analysed the microbiota community profiles using next-generation sequencing. We used multivariate sparse partial least squares discriminant analysis to identify operational taxonomic unit (OTU) signatures best classifying treatment groups and linear regression to develop a predictive model of disease severity.

Results IL-23p19 inhibition in naïve SKG mice decreased Bacteroidaceae, Porphyromonadaceae and Prevotellaceae. Abundance of Clostridiaceae and Lachnospiraceae families concomitantly increased, and curdlan-mediated SpA development decreased. Abundance of Enterobacteriaceae and Porphyromonadaceae family and reduction in Lachnospiraceae Dorea genus OTUs early in disease course were associated with disease severity in affected tissues.

Conclusions Dysbiosis in SKG mice reflects human SpA and is IL-23p19 dependent. In genetically susceptible hosts, IL-23p19 favours outgrowth of SpA-associated pathobionts and reduces support for homeostatic-inducing microbiota. The relative abundance of specific pathobionts is associated with disease severity.

  • spondyloarthropathy
  • IL-23
  • microbiota
  • gastrointestinal tract

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