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Keywords:

  • Alemtuzumab;
  • denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis;
  • DNA sequencing, intestinal microbiota;
  • lymphocyte depletion

It has been known that the gut microbiota plays a central role in shaping normal mucosal immunity, however, little information is available whether the variability of mucosal lymphocytes impacts the commensal flora. Here, we applied a cynomolgus monkey model to characterize the structure and composition of the gut microbiota in response to lymphocyte depletion and to determine their potential association. Molecular profiling of 16S rDNA showed that the intestinal microbiota composition was perturbed after the depletion of mucosal lymphocytes and were recovered following the repopulation. Some specific bacteria from the orders Lactobacillales, Enterobacteriales and Clostridiales, and the genus Prevotella and Faecalibacterium, were primarily responsible for the variations of the gut microbiota after lymphocyte depletion. Interestingly, the species richness of the ileal mucosal microbiota was associated the proportions of TCRαβ+ or TCRγδ+ T cells (p < 0.01). We demonstrate for the first time the feature of intestinal microbiota composition after lymphocyte depletion and provide novel evidence that the perturbation of gut microbiota is associated with lymphocyte depletion. It may contribute to understand the relationship between gut commensal microbiota and mucosal immune system. Study results provide insight into biological activity of alemtuzumab in intestinal barrier in organ transplantation.