Epithelial-mesenchymal interactions regulate normal gut epithelial homeostasis and have a putative role in inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer pathogenesis. Epimorphin is a mesenchymal and myofibroblast protein with antiproliferative, promorphogenic effects in intestinal epithelium. We previously showed that deletion of epimorphin partially protects mice from acute colitis, associated with an increase in crypt cell proliferation. Here we explored the potential therapeutic utility of modulating epimorphin expression by examining the effects of epimorphin deletion on chronic inflammation–associated colon carcinogenesis using the azoxymethane/dextran sodium sulfate (AOM/DSS) model. We found that mice in which epimorphin expression was absent had a marked reduction in incidence and extent of colonic dysplasia. Furthermore, epimorphin deletion in myofibroblasts altered the morphology and growth of cocultured epithelial cells. Loss of epimorphin affected secretion of soluble mesenchymal regulators of the stem cell niche such as Chordin. Importantly, IL-6 secretion from LPS-treated epimorphin-deficient myofibroblasts was completely inhibited, and stromal IL-6 expression was reduced in vivo. Taken together, these data show that epimorphin deletion inhibits chronic inflammation–associated colon carcinogenesis in mice, likely as a result of increased epithelial repair, decreased myofibroblast IL-6 secretion, and diminished IL-6–induced inflammation. Furthermore, we believe that modulation of epimorphin expression may have therapeutic benefits in appropriate clinical settings.
Anisa Shaker, Elzbieta A. Swietlicki, Lihua Wang, Shujun Jiang, Birce Onal, Shashi Bala, Katherine DeSchryver, Rodney Newberry, Marc S. Levin, Deborah C. Rubin
Enteropathy-associated T cell lymphoma is a severe complication of celiac disease (CD). One mechanism suggested to underlie its development is chronic exposure of intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) to potent antiapoptotic signals initiated by IL-15, a cytokine overexpressed in the enterocytes of individuals with CD. However, the signaling pathway by which IL-15 transmits these antiapoptotic signals has not been firmly established. Here we show that the survival signals delivered by IL-15 to freshly isolated human IELs and to human IEL cell lines derived from CD patients with type II refractory CD (RCDII) — a clinicopathological entity considered an intermediary step between CD and enteropathy-associated T cell lymphoma — depend on the antiapoptotic factors Bcl-2 and/or Bcl-xL. The signals also required IL-15Rβ, Jak3, and STAT5, but were independent of PI3K, ERK, and STAT3. Consistent with these data, IELs from patients with active CD and RCDII contained increased amounts of Bcl-xL, phospho-Jak3, and phospho-STAT5. Furthermore, incubation of patient duodenal biopsies with a fully humanized human IL-15–specific Ab effectively blocked Jak3 and STAT5 phosphorylation. In addition, treatment with this Ab induced IEL apoptosis and wiped out the massive IEL accumulation in mice overexpressing human IL-15 in their gut epithelium. Together, our results delineate the IL-15–driven survival pathway in human IELs and demonstrate that IL-15 and its downstream effectors are meaningful therapeutic targets in RCDII.
Georgia Malamut, Raja El Machhour, Nicolas Montcuquet, Séverine Martin-Lannerée, Isabelle Dusanter-Fourt, Virginie Verkarre, Jean-Jacques Mention, Gabriel Rahmi, Hiroshi Kiyono, Eric A. Butz, Nicole Brousse, Christophe Cellier, Nadine Cerf-Bensussan, Bertrand Meresse
Anion transport by the colonic mucosa maintains the hydration and pH of the colonic lumen, and its disruption causes a variety of diarrheal diseases. Cholinergic agonists raise cytosolic Ca2+ levels and stimulate anion secretion, but the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. Cholinergic stimulation of anion secretion may occur via activation of Ca2+-activated Cl– channels (CaCCs) or an increase in the Cl– driving force through CFTR after activation of Ca2+-dependent K+ channels. Here we investigated the role of a candidate CaCC protein, bestrophin-2 (Best2), using Best2–/– mice. Cholinergic stimulation of anion current was greatly reduced in Best2–/– mice, consistent with our proposed role for Best2 as a CaCC. However, immunostaining revealed Best2 localized to the basolateral membrane of mucin-secreting colonic goblet cells, not the apical membrane of Cl–-secreting enterocytes. In addition, in the absence of HCO3–, cholinergic-activated current was identical in control and Best2–/– tissue preparations, which suggests that most of the Best2 current was carried by HCO3–. These data delineate an alternative model of cholinergic regulation of colonic anion secretion in which goblet cells play a critical role in HCO3– homeostasis. We therefore propose that Best2 is a HCO3– channel that works in concert with a Cl:HCO3– exchanger in the apical membrane to affect transcellular HCO3– transport. Furthermore, previous models implicating CFTR in cholinergic Cl– secretion may be explained by substantial downregulation of Best2 in Cftr–/– mice.
Kuai Yu, Rafael Lujan, Alan Marmorstein, Sherif Gabriel, H. Criss Hartzell
At least 10 enteroendocrine cell types have been identified, and the peptide hormones they secrete have diverse functions that include regulation of glucose homeostasis, food intake, and gastric emptying. Mice lacking individual enteroendocrine hormones, their receptors, or combinations of these have shed light on the role of these hormones in the regulation of energy homeostasis. However, because enteroendocrine hormones have partially overlapping functions, these loss-of-function studies produced only minor phenotypes, and none of the enteroendocrine hormones was shown to be essential for life. To examine the effect of loss of all enteroendocrine cells and hormones on energy homeostasis, we generated mice with intestinal-specific ablation of the proendocrine transcription factor neurogenin 3 (referred to herein as Ngn3Δint mice). Ngn3Δint mice were deficient for all enteroendocrine cells and hormones, and died with a high frequency during the first week of life. Mutant mice were growth retarded and had yellowish stool suggestive of steatorrhea. Subsequent analyses revealed that Ngn3Δint mice had impaired lipid absorption, reduced weight gain, and improved glucose homeostasis. Furthermore, intestinal epithelium of the mutant mice showed an enlarged proliferative crypt compartment and accelerated cell turnover but no changes to goblet and Paneth cell numbers. Enterocytes had shorter microvilli, but the expression of the main brush border enzymes was unaffected. Our data help unravel the role of enteroendocrine cells and hormones in lipid absorption and maintenance of the intestinal epithelium.
Georg Mellitzer, Anthony Beucher, Viviane Lobstein, Pascal Michel, Sylvie Robine, Michèle Kedinger, Gérard Gradwohl
Mary Abigail S. Garcia, Ning Yang, Paul M. Quinton
Intestinal ganglioneuromatosis is a benign proliferation of nerve ganglion cells, nerve fibers, and supporting cells of the enteric nervous system (ENS) that can result in abnormally large enteric neuronal cells (ENCs) in the myenteric plexus and chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction (CIPO). As phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) is a phosphatase that is critical for controlling cell growth, proliferation, and death, we investigated the role of PTEN in the ENS by generating mice with an embryonic, ENC-selective deletion within the Pten locus. Mutant mice died 2 to 3 weeks after birth, with clinical signs of CIPO and hyperplasia and hypertrophy of ENCs resulting from increased activity of the PI3K/PTEN-AKT-S6K signaling pathway. Further analysis revealed that PTEN was only expressed in developing mouse embryonic ENCs from E15.5 and that the rate of ENC proliferation decreased once PTEN was expressed. Specific deletion of the Pten gene in ENCs therefore induced hyperplasia and hypertrophy in the later stages of embryogenesis. This phenotype was reversed by administration of a pharmacological inhibitor of AKT. In some human ganglioneuromatosis forms of CIPO, PTEN expression was found to be abnormally low and S6 phosphorylation increased. Our study thus reveals that loss of PTEN disrupts development of the ENS and identifies the PI3K/PTEN-AKT-S6K signaling pathway as a potential therapeutic target for ganglioneuromatosis forms of CIPO.
Isabel Puig, Delphine Champeval, Pascal De Santa Barbara, Francis Jaubert, Stanislas Lyonnet, Lionel Larue
The pathogenic mechanisms underlying acute pancreatitis are not clear. Two key pathologic acinar cell responses of this disease are vacuole accumulation and trypsinogen activation. We show here that both result from defective autophagy, by comparing the autophagic responses in rodent models of acute pancreatitis to physiologic autophagy triggered by fasting. Pancreatitis-induced vacuoles in acinar cells were greater in number and much larger than those induced with fasting. Degradation of long-lived proteins, a measure of autophagic efficiency, was markedly inhibited in in vitro pancreatitis, while it was stimulated by acinar cell starvation. Further, processing of the lysosomal proteases cathepsin L (CatL) and CatB into their fully active, mature forms was reduced in pancreatitis, as were their activities in the lysosome-enriched subcellular fraction. These findings indicate that autophagy is retarded in pancreatitis due to deficient lysosomal degradation caused by impaired cathepsin processing. Trypsinogen activation occurred in pancreatitis but not with fasting and was prevented by inhibiting autophagy. A marker of trypsinogen activation partially localized to autophagic vacuoles, and pharmacologic inhibition of CatL increased the amount of active trypsin in acinar cells. The results suggest that retarded autophagy is associated with an imbalance between CatL, which degrades trypsinogen and trypsin, and CatB, which converts trypsinogen into trypsin, resulting in intra-acinar accumulation of active trypsin in pancreatitis. Thus, deficient lysosomal degradation may be a dominant mechanism for increased intra-acinar trypsin in pancreatitis.
Olga A. Mareninova, Kip Hermann, Samuel W. French, Mark S. O’Konski, Stephen J. Pandol, Paul Webster, Ann H. Erickson, Nobuhiko Katunuma, Fred S. Gorelick, Ilya Gukovsky, Anna S. Gukovskaya
Although oxidative stress has been implicated in acute acetaminophen-induced liver failure and in chronic liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), no common underlying metabolic pathway has been identified. Recent case reports suggest a link between the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) enzyme transaldolase (TAL; encoded by TALDO1) and liver failure in children. Here, we show that Taldo1–/– and Taldo1+/– mice spontaneously developed HCC, and Taldo1–/– mice had increased susceptibility to acetaminophen-induced liver failure. Oxidative stress in Taldo1–/– livers was characterized by the accumulation of sedoheptulose 7-phosphate, failure to recycle ribose 5-phosphate for the oxidative PPP, depleted NADPH and glutathione levels, and increased production of lipid hydroperoxides. Furthermore, we found evidence of hepatic mitochondrial dysfunction, as indicated by loss of transmembrane potential, diminished mitochondrial mass, and reduced ATP/ADP ratio. Reduced β-catenin phosphorylation and enhanced c-Jun expression in Taldo1–/– livers reflected adaptation to oxidative stress. Taldo1–/– hepatocytes were resistant to CD95/Fas-mediated apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Remarkably, lifelong administration of the potent antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) prevented acetaminophen-induced liver failure, restored Fas-dependent hepatocyte apoptosis, and blocked hepatocarcinogenesis in Taldo1–/– mice. These data reveal a protective role for the TAL-mediated branch of the PPP against hepatocarcinogenesis and identify NAC as a promising treatment for liver disease in TAL deficiency.
Robert Hanczko, David R. Fernandez, Edward Doherty, Yueming Qian, Gyorgy Vas, Brian Niland, Tiffany Telarico, Adinoyi Garba, Sanjay Banerjee, Frank A. Middleton, Donna Barrett, Maureen Barcza, Katalin Banki, Steve K. Landas, Andras Perl
The accumulation of certain species of bacteria in the intestine is involved in both tissue homeostasis and immune-mediated pathologies. The host mechanisms involved in controlling intestinal colonization with commensal bacteria are poorly understood. We observed that under specific pathogen–free or germ-free conditions, intragastric administration of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, or Lactobacillus gasseri resulted in increased colonization of the small intestine and bacterial translocation in mice lacking Cd1d, an MHC class I–like molecule, compared with WT mice. In contrast, activation of Cd1d-restricted T cells (NKT cells) with α-galactosylceramide caused diminished intestinal colonization with the same bacterial strains. We also found prominent differences in the composition of intestinal microbiota, including increased adherent bacteria, in Cd1d–/– mice in comparison to WT mice under specific pathogen–free conditions. Germ-free Cd1d–/– mice exhibited a defect in Paneth cell granule ultrastructure and ability to degranulate after bacterial colonization. In vitro, NKT cells were shown to induce the release of lysozyme from intestinal crypts. Together, these data support a role for Cd1d in regulating intestinal colonization through mechanisms that include the control of Paneth cell function.
Edward E.S. Nieuwenhuis, Tetsuya Matsumoto, Dicky Lindenbergh, Rob Willemsen, Arthur Kaser, Ytje Simons-Oosterhuis, Sylvia Brugman, Keizo Yamaguchi, Hiroki Ishikawa, Yuji Aiba, Yasuhiro Koga, Janneke N. Samsom, Kenshiro Oshima, Mami Kikuchi, Johanna C. Escher, Masahira Hattori, Andrew B. Onderdonk, Richard S. Blumberg
HIF transcription factors (HIF-1 and HIF-2) are central mediators of cellular adaptation to hypoxia. Because the resting partial pressure of oxygen is low in the intestinal lumen, epithelial cells are believed to be mildly hypoxic. Having recently established a link between HIF and the iron-regulatory hormone hepcidin, we hypothesized that HIFs, stabilized in the hypoxic intestinal epithelium, may also play critical roles in regulating intestinal iron absorption. To explore this idea, we first established that the mouse duodenum, the site of iron absorption in the intestine, is hypoxic and generated conditional knockout mice that lacked either Hif1a or Hif2a specifically in the intestinal epithelium. Using these mice, we found that HIF-1α was not necessary for iron absorption, whereas HIF-2α played a crucial role in maintaining iron balance in the organism by directly regulating the transcription of the gene encoding divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1), the principal intestinal iron transporter. Specific deletion of Hif2a led to a decrease in serum and liver iron levels and a marked decrease in liver hepcidin expression, indicating the involvement of an induced systemic response to counteract the iron deficiency. This finding may provide a basis for the development of new strategies, specifically in targeting HIF-2α, to improve iron homeostasis in patients with iron disorders.
Maria Mastrogiannaki, Pavle Matak, Brian Keith, M. Celeste Simon, Sophie Vaulont, Carole Peyssonnaux