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J Immunol. 2010 Nov 1;185(9):5561-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0903938. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

Beta7 integrin deficiency suppresses B cell homing and attenuates chronic ileitis in SAMP1/YitFc mice.

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  • 1Division of Inflammation Biology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Lymphocyte recruitment to intestinal tissues depends on β(7) integrins. In this study, we studied disease severity and lymphocyte recruitment into the small intestine in SAMP1/YitFc mice, which develop chronic ileitis with similarity to human Crohn's disease. To assess the role of β(7) integrins in chronic ileitis, we generated SAMP1/YitFc lacking β(7) integrins (SAMP1/YitFc Itgb7(-/-)) using a congenic strain developed via marker-assisted selection. We analyzed ileal inflammation in SAMP1/YitFc and SAMP1/YitFc Itgb7(-/-) mice by histopathology and the distribution of T and B lymphocytes in the mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) by flow cytometry. Short-term (18 h) adoptive transfer experiments were used to study the in vivo homing capacity of T and B lymphocytes. In both young (<20 wk) and old (20-50 wk) SAMP1/YitFc Itgb7(-/-) mice, ileitis was reduced by 30-50% compared with SAMP1/YitFc mice. SAMP1/YitFc Itgb7(-/-) mice showed a dramatic 67% reduction in the size of their MLNs, which was caused by a 85% reduction in lymphocyte numbers and reduced short-term B cell homing. Flow cytometric analysis revealed a highly significant decrease in the percentage of B cells in MLNs of SAMP1/YitFc Itgb7(-/-) mice. Cotransfer of SAMP1/YitFc MLN B cells but not SAMP1/YitFc Itgb7(-/-) MLN B cells along with CD4(+) T cells resulted in exacerbated ileitis severity in SCID mice. Our findings suggest that β(7) integrins play an essential role in spontaneous chronic ileitis in vivo by promoting homing of disease-exacerbating B cells to MLNs and other intestinal tissues.

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