Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2013 Sep 9;8(9):e73703. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073703. eCollection 2013.

Activation of protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 2 by spermidine exerts anti-inflammatory effects in human THP-1 monocytes and in a mouse model of acute colitis.

Author information

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.



Spermidine is a dietary polyamine that is able to activate protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 2 (PTPN2). As PTPN2 is known to be a negative regulator of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ)-induced responses, and IFN-γ stimulation of immune cells is a critical process in the immunopathology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), we wished to explore the potential of spermidine for reducing pro-inflammatory effects in vitro and in vivo.


Human THP-1 monocytes were treated with IFN-γ and/or spermidine. Protein expression and phosphorylation were analyzed by Western blot, cytokine expression by quantitative-PCR, and cytokine secretion by ELISA. Colitis was induced in mice by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) administration. Disease severity was assessed by recording body weight, colonoscopy and histology.


Spermidine increased expression and activity of PTPN2 in THP-1 monocytes and reduced IFN-γ-induced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 1 and 3, as well as p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in a PTPN2 dependent manner. Subsequently, IFN-γ-induced expression/secretion of intracellular cell adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 mRNA, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, and interleukin (IL)-6 was reduced in spermidine-treated cells. The latter effects were absent in PTPN2-knockdown cells. In mice with DSS-induced colitis, spermidine treatment resulted in ameliorated weight loss and decreased mucosal damage indicating reduced disease severity.


Activation of PTPN2 by spermidine ameliorates IFN-γ-induced inflammatory responses in THP-1 cells. Furthermore, spermidine treatment significantly reduces disease severity in mice with DSS-induced colitis; hence, spermidine supplementation and subsequent PTPN2 activation may be helpful in the treatment of chronic intestinal inflammation such as IBD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center