Intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) are crucial for maintaining proper digestion and overall homeostasis of the gut mucosa. IEC proliferation and differentiation are tightly regulated by well described pathways, however, relatively little is known about how cytokines shape these processes. Given that the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 promotes intestinal barrier function, and insufficient IL-10 signaling increases susceptibility to intestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, we hypothesized that IL-10 signaling modulates processes underlying IEC proliferation and differentiation. This was tested using in vivo and in vitro IEC-specific IL-10 receptor 1 (IL-10R1) depletion under homeostatic conditions. Our findings revealed that loss of IL-10R1 drove lineage commitment toward a dominant goblet cell phenotype while decreasing absorptive cell-related features. Diminished IL-10 signaling also significantly elevated IEC proliferation with relatively minor changes to apoptosis. Characterization of signaling pathways upstream of proliferation demonstrated a significant reduction in the Wnt inhibitor, DKK1, increased nuclear localization of β-catenin, and increased transcripts of the proliferation marker, OLFM4, with IL-10R1 depletion. Phosphorylated STAT3 was nearly completely absent in IL-10R1 knockdown cells and may provide a mechanistic link between our observations and the regulation of these cellular processes. Our results demonstrate a novel role for IL-10 signaling in intestinal mucosal homeostasis by regulating proper balance of proliferation and IEC lineage fate.
|Journal||FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology|
|Early online date||27 May 2021|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2021|
- absorptive cells
- goblet cells
- interleukin-10 receptor