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Eur J Immunol. 2003 Dec;33(12):3265-74.

OX40/OX40L interaction induces the expression of CXCR5 and contributes to chronic colitis induced by dextran sulfate sodium in mice.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.


Interactions between APC and T lymphocytes have been implicated as a major factor contributing to inflammatory bowel disease. To test whether OX40/OX40L interaction plays a role in chronic intestinal inflammation, we induced chronic colitis using dextran sulfate sodium and treated the mice with a murine fusion protein (OX40-IgG). Treatment resulted in a dose-dependent and significant reduction of intestinal inflammation (46%) as measured by a histologic score. IL-10 and IL-5 production from mesenteric lymph node cells increased 20-fold and 18-fold, respectively. In colonic tissue, IL-10 mRNA levels increased and the expression of T-bet was decreased to 30%. IL-10 neutralization partly inhibited the beneficial effects of OX40-IgG treatment. Surprisingly, despite the reduction of inflammation we found the number and size of colonic lymphoid follicles increased, with an accumulation of CD4(+) cells in the mantle area. In contrast, the number of CD4(+) cells infiltrating the mucosa was significantly reduced, as was their CXCR5 expression (24-fold). We conclude that OX40/OX40L interaction contributes to the perpetuation of chronic colitis partly by suppressing IL-10 production. Furthermore, our data suggest that the OX40/OX40L-induced CXCR5 expression on CD4(+) cells may be important for the inflammatory process by allowing migration to the germinal center for further differentiation of CD4(+) cells before they infiltrate the chronically inflamed mucosa.

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