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J Immunol. 2005 Nov 15;175(10):6900-8.

Abnormally differentiated subsets of intestinal macrophage play a key role in Th1-dominant chronic colitis through excess production of IL-12 and IL-23 in response to bacteria.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Keio University, Japan.


Disorders in enteric bacteria recognition by intestinal macrophages (Mphi) are strongly correlated with the pathogenesis of chronic colitis; however the precise mechanisms remain unclear. The aim of the current study was to elucidate the roles of Mphi in intestinal inflammation by using an IL-10-deficient (IL-10-/-) mouse colitis model. GM-CSF-induced bone marrow-derived Mphi (GM-Mphi) and M-CSF-induced bone marrow-derived Mphi (M-Mphi) were generated from bone marrow CD11b+ cells. M-Mphi from IL-10-/- mice produced abnormally large amounts of IL-12 and IL-23 upon stimulation with heat-killed whole bacteria Ags, whereas M-Mphi from wild-type (WT) mice produced large amounts of IL-10 but not IL-12 or IL-23. In contrast, IL-12 production by GM-Mphi was not significantly different between WT and IL-10-/- mice. In ex vivo experiments, cytokine production ability of colonic lamina propria Mphi (CLPMphi) but not splenic Mphi from WT mice was similar to that of M-Mphi, and CLPMphi but not splenic Mphi from IL-10-/- mice also showed abnormal IL-12p70 hyperproduction upon stimulation with bacteria. Surprisingly, the abnormal IL-12p70 hyperproduction from M-Mphi from IL-10-/- mice was improved by IL-10 supplementation during the differentiation process. These results suggest that CLPMphi and M-Mphi act as anti-inflammatory Mphi and suppress excess inflammation induced by bacteria in WT mice. In IL-10-/- mice, however, such Mphi subsets differentiated into an abnormal phenotype under an IL-10-deficient environment, and bacteria recognition by abnormally differentiated subsets of intestinal Mphi may lead to Th1-dominant colitis via IL-12 and IL-23 hyperproduction. Our data provide new insights into the intestinal Mphi to gut flora relationship in the development of colitis in IL-10-/- mice.

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