While saliva regulates the interplay between the microbiota and the oral immune system, the mechanisms establishing postnatal salivary immunity are ill-defined. Here, we show that high levels of neutrophils and neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn)-transferred maternal IgG are temporarily present in the neonatal murine salivary glands in a microbiota-independent manner. During weaning, neutrophils, FcRn, and IgG decrease in the salivary glands, while the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) is upregulated in a growth arrest-specific 6 (GAS6)-dependent manner independent of the microbiota. Production of salivary IgA begins following weaning and relies on CD4-help, IL-17, and the microbiota. The weaning phase is characterized by a transient accumulation of dendritic cells capable of migrating from the oral mucosa to the salivary glands upon exposure to microbial challenges and activating T cells. This study reveals the postnatal mechanisms developed in the salivary glands to induce immunity and proposes the salivary glands as an immune inductive site.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Israel Science Foundation Grant 2272/20 (A.H.).
© 2022 The Author(s)
- CP: Immunology
- CP: Microbiology
- oral mucosa
- salivary glands