Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory disorder with rising incidence. Diseased tissues are heavily vascularized. Surprisingly, the pathogenic impact of the vasculature in IBD and the underlying regulatory mechanisms remain largely unknown. IFN-γ is a major cytokine in IBD pathogenesis, but in the context of the disease, it is almost exclusively its immune-modulatory and epithelial cell–directed functions that have been considered. Recent studies by our group demonstrated that IFN-γ also exerts potent effects on blood vessels. Based on these considerations, we analyzed the vessel-directed pathogenic functions of IFN-γ and found that it drives IBD pathogenesis through vascular barrier disruption. Specifically, we show that inhibition of the IFN-γ response in vessels by endothelial-specific knockout of IFN-γ receptor 2 ameliorates experimentally induced colitis in mice. IFN-γ acts pathogenic by causing a breakdown of the vascular barrier through disruption of the adherens junction protein VE-cadherin. Notably, intestinal vascular barrier dysfunction was also confirmed in human IBD patients, supporting the clinical relevance of our findings. Treatment with imatinib restored VE-cadherin/adherens junctions, inhibited vascular permeability, and significantly reduced colonic inflammation in experimental colitis. Our findings inaugurate the pathogenic impact of IFN-γ–mediated intestinal vessel activation in IBD and open new avenues for vascular-directed treatment of this disease.
Victoria Langer, Eugenia Vivi, Daniela Regensburger, Thomas H. Winkler, Maximilian J. Waldner, Timo Rath, Benjamin Schmid, Lisa Skottke, Somin Lee, Noo Li Jeon, Thomas Wohlfahrt, Viktoria Kramer, Philipp Tripal, Michael Schumann, Stephan Kersting, Claudia Handtrack, Carol I. Geppert, Karina Suchowski, Ralf H. Adams, Christoph Becker, Andreas Ramming, Elisabeth Naschberger, Nathalie Britzen-Laurent, Michael Stürzl
Currently, an effective targeted therapy for pancreatitis is still lacking. Hereditary pancreatitis (HP) is a heritable, autosomal-dominant disorder with recurrent acute pancreatitis (AP) progressing to chronic pancreatitis (CP) and a markedly increased risk of pancreatic cancer. In 1996, mutations in PRSS1 were linked to the development of HP. Here, we developed a mouse model by inserting a full-length human PRSS1R122Hgene, the most commonly mutated gene in human HP, into mice. Expression of PRSS1R122H protein in the pancreas markedly increased stress signaling pathways and exacerbated AP. After the attack of AP, all PRSS1R122H mice had disease progression to CP, with similar histologic features as those observed in human HP. By comparing PRSS1R122H mice with PRSS1WT mice as well as enzymatically inactivated Dead-PRSS1R122H mice, we unraveled that increased trypsin activity is the mechanism for R122H mutation to sensitize mice to the development of pancreatitis. We further discovered that trypsin inhibition, in combination with anti-coagulation therapy, synergistically prevented the progression to CP in PRSS1R122H mice. These animal models help us better understand the complex nature of this disease and provide powerful tools for developing and testing novel therapeutics for human pancreatitis.
Fu Gui, Yuebo Zhang, Jianhua Wan, Xianbao Zhan, Yao Yao, Yinghua Li, Ashley N. Haddock, Ji Shi, Jia Guo, Jiaxiang Chen, Xiaohui Zhu, Brandy H. Edenfield, Lu Zhuang, Cheng Hu, Ying Wang, Debabrata Mukhopadhyay, Evette S. Radisky, Lizhi Zhang, Aurelia Lugea, Stephen J. Pandol, Yan Bi, Baoan Ji
Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) accounts for a substantial proportion of deaths attributable to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States. Although C. difficile can be an asymptomatic colonizer, its pathogenic potential is most commonly manifested in patients with antibiotic-modified intestinal microbiomes. In a cohort of 186 hospitalized patients, we showed that host and microbe-associated shifts in fecal metabolomes had the potential to distinguish patients with CDI from those with non–C. difficile diarrhea and C. difficile colonization. Patients with CDI exhibited a chemical signature of Stickland amino acid fermentation that was distinct from those of uncolonized controls. This signature suggested that C. difficile preferentially catabolizes branched chain amino acids during CDI. Unexpectedly, we also identified a series of noncanonical, unsaturated bile acids that were depleted in patients with CDI. These bile acids may derive from an extended host-microbiome dehydroxylation network in uninfected patients. Bile acid composition and leucine fermentation defined a prototype metabolomic model with potential to distinguish clinical CDI from asymptomatic C. difficile colonization.
John I. Robinson, William H. Weir, Jan R. Crowley, Tiffany Hink, Kimberly A. Reske, Jennie H. Kwon, Carey-Ann D. Burnham, Erik R. Dubberke, Peter J. Mucha, Jeffrey P. Henderson
While improvements in genetic analysis have greatly enhanced our understanding of the mechanisms behind pancreatitis, it continues to afflict many families for whom the hereditary factors remain unknown. Recent evaluation of a patient with a strong family history of pancreatitis sparked us to reexamine a large kindred originally reported over 50 years ago with an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern of chronic pancreatitis, diabetes and pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Whole exome sequencing analysis identified a rare missense mutation in the gene encoding pancreas-specific protease Elastase 3B (CELA3B) that cosegregates with disease. Studies of the mutant protein in vitro, in cell lines and in CRISPR-Cas9 engineered mice indicate that this mutation causes translational upregulation of CELA3B, which upon secretion and activation by trypsin leads to uncontrolled proteolysis and recurrent pancreatitis. Although lesions in several other pancreatitic proteases have been previously linked to hereditary pancreatitis, this is the first known instance of a mutation in CELA3B and a defect in translational control contributing to this disease.
Paul C. Moore, Jessica T. Cortez, Chester E. Chamberlain, Diana Alba, Amy C. Berger, Zoe Quandt, Alice Chan, Mickie H. Cheng, Jhoanne L. Bautista, Justin Peng, Michael S. German, Mark Anderson, Scott A. Oakes
Epithelial barrier dysfunction is a significant factor in many allergic diseases, including eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Infiltrating leukocytes and tissue adaptations increase metabolic demands and decrease oxygen availability at barrier surfaces. Understanding of how these processes impact barrier is limited, particularly in allergy. Here, we identified a regulatory axis whereby the oxygen-sensing transcription factor HIF-1α orchestrated epithelial barrier integrity, selectively controlling tight junction CLDN1 (claudin-1). Prolonged experimental hypoxia or HIF1A knockdown suppressed HIF-1α–dependent claudin-1 expression and epithelial barrier function, as documented in 3D organotypic epithelial cultures. L2-IL5OXA mice with EoE-relevant allergic inflammation displayed localized eosinophil oxygen metabolism, tissue hypoxia, and impaired claudin-1 barrier via repression of HIF-1α/claudin-1 signaling, which was restored by transgenic expression of esophageal epithelial-targeted stabilized HIF-1α. EoE patient biopsy analysis identified a repressed HIF-1α/claudin-1 axis, which was restored via pharmacologic HIF-1α stabilization ex vivo. Collectively, these studies reveal HIF-1α’s critical role in maintaining barrier and highlight the HIF-1α/claudin-1 axis as a potential therapeutic target for EoE.
Joanne C. Masterson, Kathryn A. Biette, Juliet A. Hammer, Nathalie Nguyen, Kelley E. Capocelli, Bejan J. Saeedi, Rachel F. Harris, Shahan D. Fernando, Lindsay B. Hosford, Caleb J. Kelly, Eric L. Campbell, Stefan F. Ehrentraut, Faria N. Ahmed, Hiroshi Nakagawa, James J. Lee, Eóin N. McNamee, Louise E. Glover, Sean P. Colgan, Glenn T. Furuta
Resident microbiota activate regulatory cells that modulate intestinal inflammation and promote and maintain intestinal homeostasis. IL-10 is a key mediator of immune regulatory function. Our studies described the functional importance and mechanisms by which gut microbiota and specific microbial components influenced the development of intestinal IL-10-producing B cells. We used fecal transplant to germ-free (GF) Il10+/EGFP reporter and Il10-/- mice to demonstrate that microbiota from specific pathogen-free mice primarily stimulated IL-10-producing colon-specific B cells and T regulatory-1 cells in ex-GF mice. IL-10 in turn down-regulated microbiota-activated mucosal inflammatory cytokines. TLR2/9 ligands and enteric bacterial lysates preferentially induced IL-10 production and regulatory capacity of intestinal B cells. Analysis of Il10+/EGFP mice crossed with additional gene-deficient strains and B cell co-transfer studies demonstrated that microbiota-induced IL-10-producing intestinal B cells ameliorated chronic T cell-mediated colitis in a TLR2, MyD88 and PI3K-dependent fashion. In vitro studies implicated PI3Kp110δ and AKT downstream signaling. These studies demonstrated that resident enteric bacteria activated intestinal IL-10-producing B cells through TLR2, MyD88 and PI3K pathways. These B cells reduced colonic T cell activation and maintained mucosal homeostasis in response to intestinal microbiota.
Yoshiyuki Mishima, Akihiko Oka, Bo Liu, Jeremy W. Herzog, Chang Soo Eun, Ting-Jia Fan, Emily Bulik-Sullivan, Ian M. Carroll, Jonathan J. Hansen, Liang Chen, Justin E. Wilson, Nancy C. Fisher, Jenny P. Y. Ting, Tomonori Nochi, Angela Wahl, J. Victor Garcia, Christopher L. Karp, R. Balfour Sartor
Impaired intestinal epithelial barrier (IEB) function with loss of desmosomal junctional protein desmoglein 2 (DSG2) is a hallmark in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). While previous studies have reported that glial cell line–derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) promotes IEB function, the mechanisms are poorly understood. We hypothesized that GDNF is involved in the loss of DSG2, resulting in impaired IEB function as seen in IBD. In the inflamed intestine of patients with IBD, there was a decrease in GDNF concentrations accompanied by a loss of DSG2, changes of the intermediate filament system, and increased phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and cytokeratins. DSG2-deficient and RET-deficient Caco2 cells revealed that GDNF specifically recruits DSG2 to the cell borders, resulting in increased DSG2-mediated intercellular adhesion via the RET receptor. Challenge of Caco2 cells and enteroids with proinflammatory cytokines as well as dextran sulfate sodium–induced (DSS-induced) colitis in C57Bl/6 mice led to impaired IEB function with reduced DSG2 mediated by p38 MAPK–dependent phosphorylation of cytokeratins. GDNF blocked all inflammation-induced changes in the IEB. GDNF attenuates inflammation-induced impairment of IEB function caused by the loss of DSG2 through p38 MAPK–dependent phosphorylation of cytokeratin. The reduced GDNF in patients with IBD indicates a disease-relevant contribution to the development of IEB dysfunction.
Michael Meir, Natalie Burkard, Hanna Ungewiß, Markus Diefenbacher, Sven Flemming, Felix Kannapin, Christoph-Thomas Germer, Matthias Schweinlin, Marco Metzger, Jens Waschke, Nicolas Schlegel
Cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox2) total knockout and myeloid knockout (MKO) mice develop Crohn’s-like intestinal inflammation when fed cholate-containing high fat diet (CCHF). We demonstrated that CCHF impaired intestinal barrier function and increased translocation of endotoxin, initiating TLR/MyD88-dependent inflammation in Cox2 KO but not WT mice. Cox2 MKO increased pro-inflammatory mediators in LPS-activated macrophages, and in the intestinal tissue and plasma upon CCHF challenge. Cox2 MKO also reduced inflammation resolving lipoxin A4 (LXA4) in intestinal tissue, while administration of an LXA4 analog rescued disease in Cox2 MKO mice fed CCHF. The apolipoprotein A-I (APOA1) mimetic 4F mitigated disease in both the Cox2 MKO/CCHF and piroxicam-accelerated Il10-/- models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and reduced elevated levels of pro-inflammatory mediators in tissue and plasma. APOA1 mimetic Tg6F therapy was also effective in reducing intestinal inflammation in the Cox2 MKO/CCHF model. We further demonstrated that APOA1 mimetic peptides: i) inhibited LPS and oxidized 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonoyl-sn-phosphatidylcholine (oxPAPC) dependent pro-inflammatory responses in human macrophages and intestinal epithelium; and ii) directly cleared pro-inflammatory lipids from mouse intestinal tissue and plasma. Our results support a causal role for pro-inflammatory and inflammation resolving lipids in IBD pathology and a translational potential for APOA1 mimetic peptides for the treatment of IBD.
David Meriwether, Dawoud Sulaiman, Carmen Volpe, Anna Dorfman, Victor Grijalva, Nasrin Dorreh, R. Sergio Solorzano-Vargas, Jiafang Wang, Ellen O’Connor, Jeremy Papesh, Muriel Larauche, Hannah Trost, Mayakonda N. Palgunachari, G.M. Anantharamaiah, Harvey R. Herschman, Martin G. Martin, Alan M. Fogelman, Srinivasa T. Reddy
The gut microbiota is crucial for our health, and well-balanced interactions between the host’s immune system and the microbiota are essential to prevent chronic intestinal inflammation, as observed in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). A variant in protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22 (PTPN22) is associated with reduced risk of developing IBD, but promotes the onset of autoimmune disorders. While the role of PTPN22 in modulating molecular pathways involved in IBD pathogenesis is well studied, its impact on shaping the intestinal microbiota has not been addressed in depth. Here, we demonstrate that mice carrying the PTPN22 variant (619W mice) were protected from acute dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis, but suffered from pronounced inflammation upon chronic DSS treatment. The basal microbiota composition was distinct between genotypes, and DSS-induced dysbiosis was milder in 619W mice than in WT littermates. Transfer of microbiota from 619W mice after the first DSS cycle into treatment-naive 619W mice promoted colitis, indicating that changes in microbial composition enhanced chronic colitis in those animals. This indicates that presence of the PTPN22 variant affects intestinal inflammation by modulating the host’s response to the intestinal microbiota.
Marianne R. Spalinger, Thomas S.B. Schmidt, Marlene Schwarzfischer, Larissa Hering, Kirstin Atrott, Silvia Lang, Claudia Gottier, Annelies Geirnaert, Christophe Lacroix, Xuezhi Dai, David J. Rawlings, Andrew C. Chan, Christian von Mering, Gerhard Rogler, Michael Scharl
It remains unknown what causes inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including signaling networks perpetuating chronic gastrointestinal inflammation in Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), in humans. According to an analysis of up to 500 patients with IBD and 100 controls, we report that key transcripts of the IL-7 receptor (IL-7R) pathway are accumulated in inflamed colon tissues of severe CD and UC patients not responding to either immunosuppressive/corticosteroid, anti-TNF, or anti-α4β7 therapies. High expression of both IL7R and IL-7R signaling signature in the colon before treatment is strongly associated with nonresponsiveness to anti-TNF therapy. While in mice IL-7 is known to play a role in systemic inflammation, we found that in humans IL-7 also controlled α4β7 integrin expression and imprinted gut-homing specificity on T cells. IL-7R blockade reduced human T cell homing to the gut and colonic inflammation in vivo in humanized mouse models, and altered effector T cells in colon explants from UC patients grown ex vivo. Our findings show that failure of current treatments for CD and UC is strongly associated with an overexpressed IL-7R signaling pathway and point to IL-7R as a relevant therapeutic target and potential biomarker to fill an unmet need in clinical IBD detection and treatment.
Lyssia Belarif, Richard Danger, Laetitia Kermarrec, Véronique Nerrière-Daguin, Sabrina Pengam, Tony Durand, Caroline Mary, Elise Kerdreux, Vanessa Gauttier, Aneta Kucik, Virginie Thepenier, Jerome C. Martin, Christie Chang, Adeeb Rahman, Nina Salabert-Le Guen, Cécile Braudeau, Ahmed Abidi, Grégoire David, Florent Malard, Celine Takoudju, Bernard Martinet, Nathalie Gérard, Isabelle Neveu, Michel Neunlist, Emmanuel Coron, Thomas T. MacDonald, Pierre Desreumaux, Hoa-Le Mai, Stephanie Le Bas-Bernardet, Jean-François Mosnier, Miriam Merad, Régis Josien, Sophie Brouard, Jean-Paul Soulillou, Gilles Blancho, Arnaud Bourreille, Philippe Naveilhan, Bernard Vanhove, Nicolas Poirier