University of Oulu

Kummola, L., González-Rodríguez, M., Marnila, P. et al. Comparison of the effect of autoclaved and non-autoclaved live soil exposure on the mouse immune system. BMC Immunol 24, 29 (2023).

Comparison of the effect of autoclaved and non-autoclaved live soil exposure on the mouse immune system

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Author: Kummola, Laura1; González-Rodríguez, Martín I.1; Marnila, Pertti2;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, 33014, Finland
2Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Jokioinen, Finland
3Fimlab Laboratories, Arvo-Building, Rm F326, Arvo Ylpön katu 34, Tampere, 33520, Finland
4Northern Finland Laboratory Centre (NordLab), Oulu, 90220, Finland
5Research Unit of Biomedicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, 90570, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-24


Background: Lack of exposure to the natural microbial diversity of the environment has been linked to dysregulation of the immune system and numerous noncommunicable diseases, such as allergies and autoimmune disorders. Our previous studies suggest that contact with soil material, rich in naturally occurring microbes, could have a beneficial immunoregulatory impact on the immune system in mice and humans. However, differences in the immunomodulatory properties of autoclaved, sterile soil material and non-autoclaved, live soil material have not been compared earlier.

Results: In this study, we exposed C57BL/6 mice to autoclaved and live soil powders that had the same rich microbiota before autoclaving. We studied the effect of the soil powders on the mouse immune system by analyzing different immune cell populations, gene expression in the gut, mesenteric lymph nodes and lung, and serum cytokines. Both autoclaved and live soil exposure were associated with changes in the immune system. The exposure to autoclaved soil resulted in higher levels of Rorγt, Inos and Foxp3 expression in the colon. The exposure to live soil was associated with elevated IFN-γ concentration in the serum. In the mesenteric lymph node, exposure to live soil reduced Gata3 and Foxp3 expression, increased the percentage of CD8 + T cells and the expression of activation marker CD80 in XCR1⁺SIRPα⁻ migratory conventional dendritic cell 1 subset.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that exposure to the live and autoclaved soil powders is not toxic for mice. Exposure to live soil powder slightly skews the immune system towards type 1 direction which might be beneficial for inhibiting type 2-related inflammation. Further studies are warranted to quantify the impact of this exposure in experimental type 2 inflammation.

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Series: BMC immunology
ISSN: 1471-2172
ISSN-E: 1471-2172
ISSN-L: 1471-2172
Volume: 24
Issue: 1
Article number: 29
DOI: 10.1186/s12865-023-00565-0
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (ISJ: grants: 25013080481 and 25013142041), The Competitive State Research Financing of the Expert Responsibility Area of Fimlab Laboratories (grant X51409 to ISJ), Nordlab Laboratories (grant: X3710-KT0011 for IJ) and Tampere Tuberculosis Foundation (ISJ). Business Finland (grants: 9204/31/2019 (AS), 7947/31/2017 (HH, OHL, NN). Finnish Cultural Foundation (MGR), Finnish Concordia Fund (TS) and Allergy Research Foundation (MGR, TS). None of the funding bodies participated in any way in the design of the study, the data collection, analysis or interpretation or writing of the manuscript. Open access funding provided by Tampere University including Tampere University Hospital, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TUNI).
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