Dendritic cellsâ (DCs) ability to present antigens and initiate the adaptive immune response confers them a pivotal role in immunological defense against hostile infection and, at the same time, immunological tolerance towards harmless components of the microbiota. Food products can modulate the inflammatory status of intestinal DCs. Among nutritionally-derived products, we investigated the ability of quercetin to suppress inflammatory cytokines secretion, antigen presentation, and DCs migration towards the draining lymph nodes. We recently identified the Slpi expression as a crucial checkpoint required for the quercetin-induced inflammatory suppression. Here we demonstrate that Slpi-KO DCs secrete a unique panel of cytokines and chemokines following quercetin exposure. In vivo, quercetin-enriched food is able to induce Slpi expression in the ileum, while little effects are detectable in the duodenum. Furthermore, Slpi expressing cells are more frequent at the tip compared to the base of the intestinal villi, suggesting that quercetin exposure could be more efficient for DCs projecting periscopes in the intestinal lumen. These data suggest that quercetin-enriched nutritional regimes may be efficient for suppressing inflammatory syndromes affecting the ileo-colonic tract.
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