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Gastrointestinal infections often induce epithelial damage that must be repaired for optimal gut function. While intestinal stem cells are critical for this regeneration process [R. C. van der Wath, B. S. Gardiner, A. W. Burgess, D. W. Smith, 8, e73204 (2013); S. Kozar , 13, 626-633 (2013)], how they are impacted by enteric infections remains poorly defined. Here, we investigate infection-mediated damage to the colonic stem cell compartment and how this affects epithelial repair and recovery from infection. Using the pathogen we show that infection disrupts murine intestinal cellular organization and integrity deep into the epithelium, to expose the otherwise protected stem cell compartment, in a TcdB-mediated process. Exposure and susceptibility of colonic stem cells to intoxication compromises their function during infection, which diminishes their ability to repair the injured epithelium, shown by altered stem cell signaling and a reduction in the growth of colonic organoids from stem cells isolated from infected mice. We also show, using both mouse and human colonic organoids, that TcdB from epidemic ribotype 027 strains does not require Frizzled 1/2/7 binding to elicit this dysfunctional stem cell state. This stem cell dysfunction induces a significant delay in recovery and repair of the intestinal epithelium of up to 2 wk post the infection peak. Our results uncover a mechanism by which an enteric pathogen subverts repair processes by targeting stem cells during infection and preventing epithelial regeneration, which prolongs epithelial barrier impairment and creates an environment in which disease recurrence is likely.
In high-income countries, the leading causes of death are noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. An important feature of most NCDs is inflammation-induced gut dysbiosis characterized by a shift in the microbial community structure from obligate to facultative anaerobes such as This microbial imbalance can contribute to disease pathogenesis by either a depletion in or the production of microbiota-derived metabolites. However, little is known about the mechanism by which inflammation-mediated changes in host physiology disrupt the microbial ecosystem in our large intestine leading to disease. Recent work by our group suggests that during gut homeostasis, epithelial hypoxia derived from peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ)-dependent β-oxidation of microbiota-derived short-chain fatty acids limits oxygen availability in the colon, thereby maintaining a balanced microbial community. During inflammation, disruption in gut anaerobiosis drives expansion of facultative anaerobic , regardless of their pathogenic potential. Therefore, our research group is currently exploring the concept that dysbiosis-associated expansion of can be viewed as a microbial signature of epithelial dysfunction and may play a greater role in different models of NCDs, including diet-induced obesity, atherosclerosis, and inflammation-associated colorectal cancer.
Copyright © 2020 American Society for Microbiology.
KEY POINTS - •Nucleotide binding oligomerization domain (Nod)-like receptors regulate cognition, anxiety and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation. •Nod-like receptors regulate central and peripheral serotonergic biology. •Nod-like receptors are important for maintenance of gastrointestinal physiology. •Intestinal epithelial cell expression of Nod1 receptors regulate behaviour.
ABSTRACT - Gut-brain axis signalling is critical for maintaining health and homeostasis. Stressful life events can impact gut-brain signalling, leading to altered mood, cognition and intestinal dysfunction. In the present study, we identified nucleotide binding oligomerization domain (Nod)-like receptors (NLR), Nod1 and Nod2, as novel regulators for gut-brain signalling. NLR are innate immune pattern recognition receptors expressed in the gut and brain, and are important in the regulation of gastrointestinal physiology. We found that mice deficient in both Nod1 and Nod2 (NodDKO) demonstrate signs of stress-induced anxiety, cognitive impairment and depression in the context of a hyperactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. These deficits were coupled with impairments in the serotonergic pathway in the brain, decreased hippocampal cell proliferation and immature neurons, as well as reduced neural activation. In addition, NodDKO mice had increased gastrointestinal permeability and altered serotonin signalling in the gut following exposure to acute stress. Administration of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine, abrogated behavioural impairments and restored serotonin signalling. We also identified that intestinal epithelial cell-specific deletion of Nod1 (VilCre Nod1 ), but not Nod2, increased susceptibility to stress-induced anxiety-like behaviour and cognitive impairment following exposure to stress. Together, these data suggest that intestinal epithelial NLR are novel modulators of gut-brain communication and may serve as potential novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of gut-brain disorders.
© 2019 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2019 The Physiological Society.
The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) is a potentially novel and promising anticancer target due to its critical roles in proliferation, apoptosis, and metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells. However, the activity and function of mTORC2 in distinct cells within malignant tissue in vivo is insufficiently explored. Surprisingly, in primary human and mouse colorectal cancer (CRC) samples, mTORC2 signaling could not be detected in tumor cells. In contrast, only macrophages in tumor-adjacent areas showed mTORC2 activity, which was downregulated in stromal macrophages residing within human and mouse tumor tissues. Functionally, inhibition of mTORC2 by specific deletion of Rictor in macrophages stimulated tumorigenesis in a colitis-associated CRC mouse model. This phenotype was driven by a proinflammatory reprogramming of mTORC2-deficient macrophages that promoted colitis via the cytokine SPP1/osteopontin to stimulate tumor growth. In human CRC patients, high SPP1 levels and low mTORC2 activity in tumor-associated macrophages correlated with a worsened clinical prognosis. Treatment of mice with a second-generation mTOR inhibitor that inhibits mTORC2 and mTORC1 exacerbated experimental colorectal tumorigenesis in vivo. In conclusion, mTORC2 activity is confined to macrophages in CRC and limits tumorigenesis. These results suggest activation but not inhibition of mTORC2 as a therapeutic strategy for colitis-associated CRC.
The bacterial pathogen Shigella flexneri causes 270 million cases of bacillary dysentery (blood in stool) worldwide every year, resulting in more than 200,000 deaths. A major challenge in combating bacillary dysentery is the lack of a small-animal model that recapitulates the symptoms observed in infected individuals, including bloody diarrhea. Here, we show that similar to humans, infant rabbits infected with S. flexneri experience severe inflammation, massive ulceration of the colonic mucosa, and bloody diarrhea. T3SS-dependent invasion of epithelial cells is necessary and sufficient for mediating immune cell infiltration and vascular lesions. However, massive ulceration of the colonic mucosa, bloody diarrhea, and dramatic weight loss are strictly contingent on the ability of the bacteria to spread from cell to cell. The infant rabbit model features bacterial dissemination as a critical determinant of S. flexneri pathogenesis and provides a unique small-animal model for research and development of therapeutic interventions.
In IBD patients, integration between a hyper-activated immune system and epithelial cell plasticity underlies colon cancer development. However, molecular regulation of such a circuity remains undefined. Claudin-1 (Cld-1), a tight-junction integral protein deregulation alters colonic epithelial cell (CEC) differentiation, and promotes colitis severity while impairing colitis-associated injury/repair. Tumorigenesis is a product of an unregulated wound-healing process and therefore we postulated that upregulated Cld-1 levels render IBD patients susceptible to the colitis-associated cancer (CAC). Villin Cld-1 mice are used to carryout overexpressed studies in mice. The role of deregulated Cld-1 expression in CAC and the underlying mechanism was determined using a well-constructed study scheme and mouse models of DSS colitis/recovery and CAC. Using an inclusive investigative scheme, we here report that upregulated Cld-1 expression promotes susceptibility to the CAC and its malignancy. Increased mucosal inflammation and defective epithelial homeostasis accompanied the increased CAC in Villin-Cld-1-Tg mice. We further found significantly increased levels of protumorigenic M2 macrophages and β-cateninSer552 (β-CatSer552) expression in the CAC in Cld-1Tg vs. WT mice. Mechanistic studies identified the role of PI3K/Akt signaling in Cld-1-dependent activation of the β-CatSer552, which, in turn, was dependent on proinflammatory signals. Our studies identify a critical role of Cld-1 in promoting susceptibility to CAC. Importantly, these effects of deregulated Cld-1 were not associated with altered tight junction integrity, but on its noncanonical role in regulating Notch/PI3K/Wnt/ β-CatSer552 signaling. Overall, outcome from our current studies identifies Cld-1 as potential prognostic biomarker for IBD severity and CAC, and a novel therapeutic target.
The myeloid translocation gene family member MTG16 is a transcriptional corepressor that relies on the DNA-binding ability of other proteins to determine specificity. One such protein is the ZBTB family member Kaiso, and the MTG16:Kaiso interaction is necessary for repression of Kaiso target genes, such as matrix metalloproteinase-7. Using the azoxymethane and dextran sodium sulfate (AOM/DSS) murine model of colitis-associated carcinoma, we previously determined that MTG16 loss accelerates tumorigenesis and inflammation. However, it was unknown whether this effect was modified by Kaiso-dependent transcriptional repression. To test for a genetic interaction between MTG16 and Kaiso in inflammatory carcinogenesis, we subjected single and double knockout (DKO) mice to the AOM/DSS protocol. Mtg16 mice demonstrated increased colitis and tumor burden; in contrast, disease severity in Kaiso mice was equivalent to wild-type controls. Surprisingly, Kaiso deficiency in the context of MTG16 loss reversed injury and pro-tumorigenic responses in the intestinal epithelium following AOM/DSS treatment, and tumor numbers were returned to near to wild-type levels. Transcriptomic analysis of non-tumor colon tissue demonstrated that changes induced by MTG16 loss were widely mitigated by concurrent Kaiso loss, and DKO mice demonstrated downregulation of metabolism and cytokine-associated gene sets with concurrent activation of DNA damage checkpoint pathways as compared with Mtg16. Further, Kaiso knockdown in intestinal enteroids reduced stem- and WNT-associated phenotypes, thus abrogating the induction of these pathways observed in Mtg16 samples. Together, these data suggest that Kaiso modifies MTG16-driven inflammation and tumorigenesis and suggests that Kaiso deregulation contributes to MTG16-dependent colitis and CAC phenotypes.
infection (CDI) is a major public health threat worldwide. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with enhanced susceptibility to and severity of CDI; however, the mechanisms driving this phenomenon have not been elucidated. NSAIDs alter prostaglandin (PG) metabolism by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes. Here, we found that treatment with the NSAID indomethacin prior to infection altered the microbiota and dramatically increased mortality and the intestinal pathology associated with CDI in mice. We demonstrated that in -infected animals, indomethacin treatment led to PG deregulation, an altered proinflammatory transcriptional and protein profile, and perturbed epithelial cell junctions. These effects were paralleled by increased recruitment of intestinal neutrophils and CD4 cells and also by a perturbation of the gut microbiota. Together, these data implicate NSAIDs in the disruption of protective COX-mediated PG production during CDI, resulting in altered epithelial integrity and associated immune responses. infection (CDI) is a spore-forming anaerobic bacterium and leading cause of antibiotic-associated colitis. Epidemiological data suggest that use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increases the risk for CDI in humans, a potentially important observation given the widespread use of NSAIDs. Prior studies in rodent models of CDI found that NSAID exposure following infection increases the severity of CDI, but mechanisms to explain this are lacking. Here we present new data from a mouse model of antibiotic-associated CDI suggesting that brief NSAID exposure prior to CDI increases the severity of the infectious colitis. These data shed new light on potential mechanisms linking NSAID use to worsened CDI, including drug-induced disturbances to the gut microbiome and colonic epithelial integrity. Studies were limited to a single NSAID (indomethacin), so future studies are needed to assess the generalizability of our findings and to establish a direct link to the human condition.
Copyright © 2019 Maseda et al.
PGE is a lipid mediator of the initiation and resolution phases of inflammation, as well as a regulator of immune system responses to inflammatory events. PGE is produced and sensed by T cells, and autocrine or paracrine PGE can affect T cell phenotype and function. In this study, we use a T cell-dependent model of colitis to evaluate the role of PGE on pathological outcome and T-cell phenotypes. CD4 T effector cells either deficient in mPGES-1 or the PGE receptor EP4 are less colitogenic. Absence of T cell autocrine mPGES1-dependent PGE reduces colitogenicity in association with an increase in CD4RORγt cells in the lamina propria. In contrast, recipient mice deficient in mPGES-1 exhibit more severe colitis that corresponds with a reduced capacity to generate FoxP3 T cells, especially in mesenteric lymph nodes. Thus, our research defines how mPGES-1-driven production of PGE by different cell types in distinct intestinal locations impacts T cell function during colitis. We conclude that PGE has profound effects on T cell phenotype that are dependent on the microenvironment.