• Chemokine;
  • Colon;
  • Epithelial cell;
  • Regeneration;
  • Inflammatory bowel disease


Crypt cell renewal is essential for normal intestinal homeostasis as well as mucosal regeneration following injury. However, the factors regulating crypt cell growth in pathological conditionsare not fully understood. We report here that the endogenously produced chemokine CXCL10 regulates crypt cell proliferation. CXCL10 was constitutively expressed by basal crypts in mouse colon, but the expression of CXCL10 as well as CXCR3 was enhanced in the epithelium in the proliferative zone after oral administration of dextran sulfate sodium. Neutralization of CXCL10 protected mice from epithelial ulceration by promoting crypt cell survival without evidence of altered immune cell infiltration. Furthermore, recombinant CXCL10 administration into mice inhibited intestinal epithelial cell proliferation. These findings suggest that CXCL10 regulates crypt cell growth to maintain intestinal homeostasis in an autocrine or paracrine fashion. Thus, CXCL10 can be a new therapeutic target for inflammatory bowel disease by controlling the dynamics of epithelial homeostasis.