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Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 20;8(1):6337. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-24706-3.

The Role of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor in the Function of Intestinal Barrier.

Author information

1
Institute for Biological Research "Sinisa Stankovic", University of Belgrade, Department of Immunology, Belgrade, 11060, Serbia.
2
Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Institute of Histology and Embryology, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia.
3
Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering (IMGGE), University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia.
4
Institute for Biological Research "Sinisa Stankovic", University of Belgrade, Department of Immunology, Belgrade, 11060, Serbia. ivana@ibiss.bg.ac.rs.

Abstract

Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a multifunctional protein that is involved in the development of gut-related inflammation. To investigate the role of MIF in the function of the intestinal barrier, we have explored intestinal permeability and gut-associated immune response in MIF-deficient (MIF-KO) mice. The absence of MIF provoked impairment of tight and adherens epithelial junctions in the colon through the disturbance of E-cadherin, zonula occludens-1, occludin and claudin-2 expression, which lead to the increase of intestinal barrier permeability. In these circumstances the diversity and content of gut microbiota in MIF-KO mice was considerably different compared to wild type mice. This change in microbiota was accompanied by an increased intestinal IgA concentration and a higher production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF and IFN-γ in mesenteric lymph nodes of MIF-KO mice. The forced changes of microbiota executed by antibiotics prevented the "leakage" of the barrier in MIF-KO mice, probably through up-regulation of occludin expression and normalization of cellular pore diameters. In addition, cytokine secretion was normalized after the treatment with antibiotics. These results suggest that MIF participates in the maintenance of physiological microbiota diversity and immunosurveillance, which in turn enables the proper intestinal barrier function.

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