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Inflammatory and Immune Activation in Intestinal Myofibroblasts Is Developmentally Regulated

Zawahir, S;Li, G;Banerjee, A;Shiu, J;Blanchard, TG;Okogbule-Wonodi, AC;

We previously demonstrated that intestinal myofibroblasts from immature tissue produce excessive IL-8 in response to Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) compared to cells from mature tissue. However, it is unknown whether other cytokines and TLR agonists contribute to this developmentally regulated response. The aim of this study was to further characterize differences in inflammatory signaling in human primary intestinal fibroblasts from fetal (FIF) and infant (IIF) tissue and examine their potential to activate the adaptive immune response in vitro. Cytokine profiles of LPS-stimulated FIF and IIF were assessed by cytokine profile array. IL-8, IL-6, and IL-10 production in response to TLR2, TLR2/6, TLR4, and TLR5 agonists was determined by quantitative ELISA. The potential of activated myofibroblasts to activate adaptive immunity was determined by measuring surface class II MHC expression using flow cytometry. LPS-stimulated FIF produced a distinct proinflammatory cytokine profile consisting of MCP-1, GRO-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8 expression. FIF produced significant IL-8 and IL-6 in response to TLR4 agonist. IIF produced significant levels of IL-8 and IL-6 in the presence of TLR5 and TLR2 agonists. IFN--treated FIF expressed greater HLA-DR levels compared to unstimulated controls and IFN-- and LPS-treated IIF. Activated FIF produce a more diverse inflammatory cytokine profile and greater levels of IL-8 and IL-6 in response to TLR4 stimulation compared to IIF. FIF express class II MHC proteins associated with activation of the adaptive immune response. These data suggest that FIF may contribute to bacterial-associated gut inflammation in the immature intestine.