T helper 1-inducing property of IL-27/WSX-1 signaling is required for the induction of experimental colitis

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Abstract

Background: WSX-1, a component of the interleukin (IL)-27 receptor, is a novel class I cytokine receptor with homology to the IL-12 receptor β2 chain. Initially, WSX-1 signaling was reported to play an important role in the promotion of T helper-1 responses, but recent reports have revealed an anti-inflammatory property in WSX-1 signaling. In the present study, we investigated the role of IL-27/WSX-1 signaling in a murine colitis model, dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis, by using WSX-1 knockout (KO) mice. Methods: First, we observed whether WSX-1 KO mice developed colitis spontaneously. Second, we induced DSS colitis in WSX-1 KO and wild-type (WT) mice. Results:WSX-1 KO mice were observed not to develop colitis spontaneously. The severity of DSS colitis was decreased in WSX-1 KO mice in comparison with WT mice in association with a reduced production of interferon-γ, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α by lamina propria mononuclear cells from WSX-1 KO mice and the absence of T-bet expression in the colon from WSX-1 KO mice. Conclusions: This study revealed the inflammatory property of IL-27/WSX-1 signaling in intestinal inflammation. As a result, IL-27/WSX-1 signal pathway may thus be a promising candidate for the therapeutic intervention of human inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

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