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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56951. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056951. Epub 2013 Feb 22.

CSF-1 receptor-dependent colon development, homeostasis and inflammatory stress response.

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  • 1Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


The colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) receptor (CSF-1R) directly regulates the development of Paneth cells (PC) and influences proliferation and cell fate in the small intestine (SI). In the present study, we have examined the role of CSF-1 and the CSF-1R in the large intestine, which lacks PC, in the steady state and in response to acute inflammation induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). As previously shown in mouse, immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of CSF-1R expression showed that the receptor is baso-laterally expressed on epithelial cells of human colonic crypts, indicating that this expression pattern is shared between species. Colons from Csf1r null and Csf1(op/op) mice were isolated and sectioned for IHC identification of enterocytes, enteroendocrine cells, goblet cells and proliferating cells. Both Csf1r(-/-) and Csf1(op/op) mice were found to have colon defects in enterocytes and enteroendocrine cell fate, with excessive goblet cell staining and reduced cell proliferation. In addition, the gene expression profiles of the cell cycle genes, cyclinD1, c-myc, c-fos, and c-myb were suppressed in Csf1r(-/-) colonic crypt, compared with those of WT mice and the expression of the stem cell marker gene Lgr5 was markedly reduced. However, analysis of the proliferative responses of immortalized mouse colon epithelial cells (lines; Immorto-5 and YAMC) indicated that CSF-1R is not a major regulator of colonocyte proliferation and that its effects on proliferation are indirect. In an examination of the acute inflammatory response, Csf1r(+/-) male mice were protected from the adverse affects of DSS-induced colitis compared with WT mice, while Csf1r(+/-) female mice were significantly less protected. These data indicate that CSF-1R signaling plays an important role in colon homeostasis and stem cell gene expression but that the receptor exacerbates the response to inflammatory challenge in male mice.

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