A gut-vascular barrier controls the systemic dissemination of bacteria

Ilaria Spadoni, Elena Zagato, Alice Bertocchi, Roberta Paolinelli, Edina Hot, Antonio Di Sabatino, Flavio Caprioli, Luca Bottiglieri, Amanda Oldani, Giuseppe Viale, Giuseppe Penna, Elisabetta Dejana, Maria Rescigno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In healthy individuals, the intestinal microbiota cannot access the liver, spleen, or other peripheral tissues. Some pathogenic bacteria can reach these sites, however, and can induce a systemic immune response. How such compartmentalization is achieved is unknown. We identify a gut-vascular barrier (GVB) in mice and humans that controls the translocation of antigens into the bloodstream and prohibits entry of the microbiota. Salmonella typhimurium can penetrate the GVB in a manner dependent on its pathogenicity island (Spi) 2-encoded type III secretion system and on decreased β-catenin-dependent signaling in gut endothelial cells. The GVB is modified in celiac disease patients with elevated serum transaminases, which indicates that GVB dismantling may be responsible for liver damage in these patients. Understanding the GVB may provide new insights into the regulation of the gut-liver axis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-834
Number of pages5
Issue number6262
Publication statusPublished - Nov 13 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Medicine(all)


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