Neutrophil Extracellular Traps Impair Intestinal Barrier Function during Experimental Colitis.
ABSTRACT: Aberrant neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation and the loss of barrier integrity in inflamed intestinal tissues have long been associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, whether NETs alter intestinal epithelium permeability during colitis remains elusive. Here, we demonstrated that NETs promote the breakdown in intestinal barrier function for the pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation in mouse models of colitis. NETs were abundant in the colon of mice with colitis experimentally induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) or 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS). Analysis of the intestinal barrier integrity revealed that NETs impaired gut permeability, enabling the initiation of luminal bacterial translocation and inflammation. Furthermore, NETs induced the apoptosis of epithelial cells and disrupted the integrity of tight junctions and adherens junctions. Intravenous administration of DNase I, an enzyme that dissolves the web-like DNA filaments of NETs, during colitis restored the mucosal barrier integrity which reduced the dissemination of luminal bacteria and attenuated intestinal inflammation in both DSS and TNBS models. We conclude that NETs serve a detrimental factor in the gut epithelial barrier function leading to the pathogenesis of mucosal inflammation during acute colitis.
Project description:Ulcerative colitis is a multi-factorial disease involving a dysregulated immune response. Disruptions to the intestinal epithelial barrier and translocation of bacteria, resulting in inflammation, are common in colitis. The mechanisms underlying epithelial barrier dysfunction or regulation of tight junction proteins during disease progression of colitis have not been clearly elucidated. Increase in phospholipase D (PLD) activity is associated with disease severity in colitis animal models. However, the role of PLD2 in the maintenance of intestinal barrier integrity remains elusive. We have generated intestinal-specific Pld2 knockout mice (Pld2 IEC-KO) to investigate the mechanism of intestinal epithelial PLD2 in colitis. We show that the knockout of Pld2 confers protection against dextran sodium sulphate (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. Treatment with DSS induced the expression of PLD2 and downregulated occludin in colon epithelial cells. PLD2 was shown to mediate phosphorylation of occludin and induce its proteasomal degradation in a c-Src kinase-dependent pathway. Additionally, we have shown that treatment with an inhibitor of PLD2 can rescue mice from DSS-induced colitis. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing that PLD2 is pivotal in the regulation of the integrity of epithelial tight junctions and occludin turn over, thereby implicating it in the pathogenesis of colitis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: GP-BAR1, a member G protein coupled receptor superfamily, is a cell surface bile acid-activated receptor highly expressed in the ileum and colon. In monocytes, ligation of GP-BAR1 by secondary bile acids results in a cAMP-dependent attenuation of cytokine generation. AIMS: To investigate the role GP-BAR1 in regulating intestinal homeostasis and inflammation-driven immune dysfunction in rodent models of colitis. METHODS: Colitis was induced in wild type and GP-BAR1(-/-) mice by DSS and TNBS administration. Potential GP-BAR1 agonists were identified by in silico screening and computational docking studies. RESULTS: GP-BAR1(-/-) mice develop an abnormal morphology of colonic mucous cells and an altered molecular architecture of epithelial tight junctions with increased expression and abnormal subcellular distribution of zonulin 1 resulting in increased intestinal permeability and susceptibility to develop severe colitis in response to DSS at early stage of life. By in silico screening and docking studies we identified ciprofloxacin as a GP-BAR1 ligand. In monocytes, ciprofloxacin increases cAMP concentrations and attenuates TNF? release induced by TLR4 ligation in a GP-BAR1 dependent manner. Treating mice rendered colitic by TNBS with ciprofloxacin and oleanolic acid, a well characterized GP-BAR1 ligand, abrogates signs and symptoms of colitis. Colonic expression of GP-BAR1 mRNA increases in rodent models of colitis and tissues from Crohn's disease patients. Flow cytometry analysis demonstrates that ?90% of CD14+ cells isolated from the lamina propria of TNBS-treated mice stained positively for GP-BAR1. CONCLUSIONS: GP-BAR1 regulates intestinal barrier structure. Its expression increases in rodent models of colitis and Crohn's disease. Ciprofloxacin is a GP-BAR1 ligand.
Project description:Epithelial barrier disruption is a major cause of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); however, the mechanism through which epigenetic regulation modulates intestinal epithelial integrity remains largely undefined. Here we show that EZH2, the catalytic subunit of polycomb repressive complex (PRC2), is indispensable for maintaining epithelial cell barrier integrity and homeostasis under inflammatory conditions. In accordance with reduced EZH2 expression in patients, the inactivation of EZH2 in IECs sensitizes mice to DSS- and TNBS-induced experimental colitis. Conversely, EZH2 overexpression in the intestinal epithelium renders mice more resistant to colitis. Mechanistically, the genes encoding TRAF2/5 are held in a finely tuned bivalent status under inflammatory conditions. EZH2 deficiency potentiates the expression of these genes to enhance TNF?-induced NF-?B signaling, thereby leading to uncontrolled inflammation. More importantly, we show that EZH2 depletion compromises the protective role of NF-?B signaling in cell survival by directly up-regulating ITCH, a well-known E3 ligase that degrades the c-FLIP protein. Thus, our findings highlight an epigenetic mechanism by which EZH2 integrates the multifaceted effects of TNF? signaling to promote the inflammatory response and apoptosis in colitis.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:Epithelial tight junctions are compromised in gastrointestinal disease. Processes that contribute to the resulting barrier loss include endocytic occludin removal from the tight junction and reduced occludin expression. Nevertheless, the relatively-normal basal phenotype of occludin knockout (KO) mice has been taken as evidence that occludin does not contribute to gastrointestinal barrier function. We asked whether stress could unmask occludin functions within intestinal epithelia. METHODS:Wildtype (WT), universal and intestinal epithelial-specific occludin KO, and villin-EGFP-occludin transgenic mice as well as WT and occludin knockdown (KD) Caco-2BBe cell monolayers were challenged with DSS, TNBS, staurosporine, 5-FU, or TNF. Occludin and caspase-3 expression were assessed in patient biopsies. RESULTS:Intestinal epithelial occludin loss limited severity of DSS- and TNBS-induced colitis due to epithelial resistance to apoptosis; activation of both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways was blocked in occludin KO epithelia. Promoter analysis revealed that occludin enhances CASP3 transcription and, conversely, that occludin downregulation reduces caspase-3 expression. Analysis of biopsies from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients and normal controls demonstrated that disease-associated occludin downregulation was accompanied by and correlated with reduced caspase-3 expression. In vitro, cytokine-induced occludin downregulation resulted in reduced caspase-3 expression and resistance to intrinsic and extrinsic pathway apoptosis, demonstrating an overall protective effect of inflammation-induced occludin loss. CONCLUSIONS:The tight junction protein occludin regulates apoptosis by enhancing caspase-3 transcription. These data suggest that reduced epithelial caspase-3 expression downstream of occludin downregulation is a previously-unappreciated anti-apoptotic process that contributes to mucosal homeostasis in inflammatory conditions.
Project description:The human di/tripeptide transporter human intestinal H-coupled oligonucleotide transporter (hPepT1) is abnormally expressed in colons of patients with inflammatory bowel disease, although its exact role in pathogenesis is unclear. We investigated the contribution of PepT1 to intestinal inflammation in mouse models of colitis and the involvement of the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2) signaling pathway in the pathogenic activity of colonic epithelial hPepT1.Transgenic mice were generated in which hPepT1 expression was regulated by the ?-actin or villin promoters; colitis was induced using 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) or dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) and the inflammatory responses were assessed. The effects of NOD2 deletion in the hPepT1 transgenic mice also was studied to determine the involvement of the PepT1-NOD2 signaling pathway.TNBS and DSS induced more severe levels of inflammation in ?-actin-hPepT1 transgenic mice than wild-type littermates. Intestinal epithelial cell-specific hPepT1 overexpression in villin-hPepT1 transgenic mice increased the severity of inflammation induced by DSS, but not TNBS. Bone marrow transplantation studies showed that hPepT1 expression in intestinal epithelial cells and immune cells has an important role in the proinflammatory response. Antibiotics abolished the effect of hPepT1 overexpression on the inflammatory response in DSS-induced colitis in ?-actin-hPepT1 and villin-hPepT1 transgenic mice, indicating that commensal bacteria are required to aggravate intestinal inflammation. Nod2-/-, ?-actin-hPepT1 transgenic/Nod2-/-, and villin-hPepT1 transgenic/Nod2-/- littermates had similar levels of susceptibility to DSS-induced colitis, indicating that hPepT1 overexpression increased intestinal inflammation in a NOD2-dependent manner.The PepT1-NOD2 signaling pathway is involved in aggravation of DSS-induced colitis in mice.
Project description:Doublecortin-like kinase 1 (Dclk1), a microtubule-associated kinase, marks the fifth lineage of intestinal epithelial cells called tuft cells that function as tumor stem cells in Apc mutant models of colon cancer. In order to determine the role of Dclk1 in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) induced colonic inflammation both intestinal epithelial specific Dclk1 deficient (VillinCre;Dclk1f/f) and control (Dclk1f/f) mice were fed 3% DSS in drinking water for 9 days, allowed to recover for 2 days, and killed. The clinical and histological features of DSS-induced colitis were scored and immunohistochemical, gene expression, pro-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines, and immunoblotting analyses were used to examine epithelial barrier integrity, inflammation, and stem and tuft cell features. In DSS-induced colitis, VillinCre;Dclk1f/f mice demonstrated exacerbated injury including higher clinical colitis scores, increased epithelial barrier permeability, higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, decreased levels of Lgr5, and dysregulated Wnt/b-Catenin pathway genes. These results suggest that Dclk1 plays an important role in regulating colonic inflammatory response and colonic epithelial integrity.
Project description:Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colorectal cancer is linked to inflammation and phospholipase C?1 (PLC?1) is associated with tumorigenesis and the development of colorectal cancer; however, evidence of mechanisms connecting them remains unclear. The tight junctions (TJ), as intercellular junctional complexes, have an important role for integrity of the epithelial barrier to regulate the cellular permeability. Here we found that PLC?1 regulated colitis and tumorigenesis in intestinal epithelial cells (IEC). To induce the colitis-associated cancer (CAC), we used the AOM/DSS model. Mice were sacrificed at 100 days (DSS three cycles) and 120 days (DSS one cycle). In a CAC model, we showed that the deletion of PLC?1 in IEC decreased the incidence of tumors by enhancing apoptosis and inhibiting proliferation during tumor development. Accordingly, the deletion of PLC?1 in IEC reduced colitis-induced epithelial inflammation via inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators. The PLC?1 pathway in IEC accelerated colitis-induced epithelial damage via regulation of TJ proteins.Our findings suggest that PLC?1 is a critical regulator of colitis and colorectal cancer and could further help in the development of therapy for colitis-associated cancer.
Project description:Disruption of intestinal epithelial tight junctions is an important event in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis. Dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) induces colitis in mice with symptoms similar to ulcerative colitis. However, the mechanism of DSS-induced colitis is unknown. We investigated the mechanism of DSS-induced disruption of intestinal epithelial tight junctions and barrier dysfunction in Caco-2 cell monolayers in vitro and mouse colon in vivo. DSS treatment resulted in disruption of tight junctions, adherens junctions and actin cytoskeleton leading to barrier dysfunction in Caco-2 cell monolayers. DSS induced a rapid activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and the inhibition or knockdown of JNK2 attenuated DSS-induced tight junction disruption and barrier dysfunction. In mice, DSS administration for 4 days caused redistribution of tight junction and adherens junction proteins from the epithelial junctions, which was blocked by JNK inhibitor. In Caco-2 cell monolayers, DSS increased intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, and depletion of intracellular Ca(2+) by 1,2-bis-(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetra-acetic acid tetrakis(acetoxymethyl ester) (BAPTA/AM) or thapsigargin attenuated DSS-induced JNK activation, tight junction disruption and barrier dysfunction. Knockdown of apoptosis signal-regulated kinase 1 (Ask1) or MKK7 blocked DSS-induced tight junction disruption and barrier dysfunction. DSS activated c-Src by a Ca2+ and JNK-dependent mechanism. Inhibition of Src kinase activity or knockdown of c-Src blocked DSS-induced tight junction disruption and barrier dysfunction. DSS increased tyrosine phosphorylation of occludin, zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), E-cadherin and ?-catenin. SP600125 abrogated DSS-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of junctional proteins. Recombinant JNK2 induced threonine phosphorylation and auto-phosphorylation of c-Src. The present study demonstrates that Ca(2+)/Ask1/MKK7/JNK2/cSrc signalling cascade mediates DSS-induced tight junction disruption and barrier dysfunction.
Project description:The cells of the intestinal epithelium provide a selectively permeable barrier between the external environment and internal tissues. The integrity of this barrier is maintained by tight junctions, specialised cell-cell contacts that permit the absorption of water and nutrients while excluding microbes, toxins and dietary antigens. Impairment of intestinal barrier function contributes to multiple gastrointestinal disorders, including food hypersensitivity, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis-associated cancer (CAC). Glycoprotein A33 (GPA33) is an intestinal epithelium-specific cell surface marker and member of the CTX group of transmembrane proteins. Roles in cell-cell adhesion have been demonstrated for multiple CTX family members, suggesting a similar function for GPA33 within the gastrointestinal tract. To test a potential requirement for GPA33 in intestinal barrier function, we generated Gpa33(-/-) mice and subjected them to experimental regimens designed to produce food hypersensitivity, colitis and CAC. Gpa33(-/-) mice exhibited impaired intestinal barrier function. This was shown by elevated steady-state immunosurveillance in the colonic mucosa and leakiness to oral TRITC-labelled dextran after short-term exposure to dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) to injure the intestinal epithelium. Gpa33(-/-) mice also exhibited rapid onset and reduced resolution of DSS-induced colitis, and a striking increase in the number of colitis-associated tumours produced by treatment with the colon-specific mutagen azoxymethane (AOM) followed by two cycles of DSS. In contrast, Gpa33(-/-) mice treated with AOM alone showed no increase in sporadic tumour formation, indicating that their increased tumour susceptibility is dependent on inflammatory stimuli. Finally, Gpa33(-/-) mice displayed hypersensitivity to food allergens, a common co-morbidity in humans with IBD. We propose that Gpa33(-/-) mice provide a valuable model to study the mechanisms linking intestinal permeability and multiple inflammatory pathologies. Moreover, this model could facilitate preclinical studies aimed at identifying drugs that restore barrier function.
Project description:Targeted disruption of leukocyte trafficking to the gut represents a promising approach for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). CCR5, the shared receptor for MIP1? and ? and RANTES, is expressed by multiple leukocytes. Here, we aimed to determine the role of CCR5 in mediating leukocyte trafficking in models of colitis, and evaluate the therapeutic potential of maraviroc, an orally active CCR5 antagonist used in the treatment of CCR5-tropic HIV. Acute and chronic colitis were induced by administration of DSS or TNBS to wild-type and CCR5(-/-) mice or adoptive transfer of splenic naïve CD4(+) T-cells from wild type or CCR5(-/-) mice into RAG-1(-/-). CCR5 gene ablation reduced the mucosal recruitment and activation of CCR5-bearing CD4(+) and CD11b(+) leukocytes, resulting in profound attenuation of signs and symptoms of inflammation in the TNBS and transfer models of colitis. In the DSS/TNBS colitis and in the transfer model, maraviroc attenuated development of intestinal inflammation by selectively reducing the recruitment of CCR5 bearing leukocytes. In summary, CCR5 regulates recruitment of blood leukocytes into the colon indicating that targeting CCR5 may offer therapeutic options in IBDs.