Objective Monocyte chemotactic protein-1-induced protein 1 (MCPIP1) is highly expressed in inflamed mucosa of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and negatively regulates immune response, while the underlying mechanisms regulating mucosal macrophage functions remain unknown. Here, we investigated the roles of MCPIP1 in modulating the differentiation and functions of intestinal macrophages in the pathogenesis of IBD.
Design ScRNA-seq was used to cluster the monocyte/macrophage lineage from macrophage-specific Mcpip1-deficient (Mcpip1 ∆Mye) mice and Mcpip1 fl/fl littermates. The differentially expressed genes were confirmed by RNA-seq, luciferase assay, CUT&Tag assay and Western blotting. Effects of MCPIP1 and the activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3)-AP1S2 axis were assessed in patients with IBD.
Results Mcpip1 ∆Mye mice developed more severe dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis characterised by an increase in macrophage migratory capacity and M1 macrophage polarisation but a decrease in the monocyte-to-macrophage maturation in gut mucosa compared with their littermates. ScRNA-seq unravelled a proinflammatory population (Ccr2+Il-1β+Tlr2+Cx3cr1−Cd163−Mrc1−Ly6c+) of the monocyte/macrophage lineage from lamina propria CD11b+ cells and an arrest of Mcpip1 ∆Mye monocyte-to-macrophage maturation in an Atf3-Ap1s2 axis-dependent manner. Silencing of Ap1s2 or Atf3 markedly suppressed Mcpip1 ∆Mye macrophage migration, M1-like polarisation, and production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Notably, in vivo blockage of Ap1s2 ameliorated DSS-induced colitis in Mcpip1 ΔMye mice through enhancing intestinal macrophage maturation. Furthermore, MCPIP1, ATF3 and AP1S2 were highly expressed in inflamed mucosa of active patients with IBD and blockage of ATF3 or AP1S2 significantly suppressed IBD CD14+-derived M1-like macrophage polarisation and proinflammatory cytokine production.
Conclusions Macrophage-specific Mcpip1 deficiency polarises macrophages towards M1-like phenotype, arrests macrophage maturation and exacerbates intestinal inflammation in an Atf3-Ap1s2-dependent manner, thus providing novel mechanistic insight into intestinal macrophage functions during IBD.
- IBD basic research
- immune response
- mucosal immunology
- gut immunology
Data availability statement
Data are available on reasonable request.
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HL, CZ and WW contributed equally.
Contributors ZL conceived the study; HL, CZ, WW and ZL selected studies for inclusion, wrote the protocol and performed most experiments and statistical analyses; HC and RL bred the mice; RS and XG performed the immunostaining; GL and JL interpreted the data; QH, HG and XW contributed to the clinical data and specimens; RZ performed a bioinformatics analysis; JN and PEK provided myeloid cell-specific Mcpip1-deficient mice; HL, CZ and ZL drafted the manuscript. All authors approved the final draft.
Funding This work was funded by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91942312, 81630017).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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