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Tissue-infiltrating neutrophils represent the main source of IL-23 in the colon of patients with IBD

Abstract

Objective In IBD, interleukin-23 (IL-23) and its receptor (IL-23R) are implicated in disease initiation and progression. Novel insight into which cells produce IL-23 at the site of inflammation at an early stage of IBD will promote the development of new tools for diagnosis, treatment and patient monitoring. We examined the cellular source of IL-23 in colon tissue of untreated newly diagnosed paediatric patients with IBD.

Design Colon tissues from IBD and non-IBD patients were analysed by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), immunofluorescence confocal microscopy and flow cytometry after appropriate sample preparation. Blood samples from IBD and non-IBD patients and healthy controls were analysed using flow cytometry and qPCR.

Results We discovered that tissue-infiltrating neutrophils were the main source of IL-23 in the colon of paediatric patients with IBD, while IL-23+ human leucocyte antigen-DR+ or IL-23+CD14+ cells were scarce or non-detectable, respectively. The colonic IL-23+ neutrophils expressed C-X-C motif (CXC)R1 and CXCR2, receptors for the CXC ligand 8 (CXCL8) chemokine family, and a corresponding CXCR1+CXCR2+IL-23+subpopulation of neutrophils was also identified in the blood of both patients with IBD and healthy individuals. However, CXCL8-family chemokines were only elevated in colon tissue from patients with IBD.

Conclusions This study provides the first evidence of CXCR1+CXCR2+IL-23-producing neutrophils that infiltrate and accumulate in inflamed colon tissue of patients with IBD. Thus, this novel source of IL-23 may play a key role in disease progression and will be important to take into consideration in the development of future strategies to monitor, treat and prevent IBD.

  • GUT INFLAMMATION
  • GUT IMMUNOLOGY
  • IBD BASIC RESEARCH
  • IMAGE ANALYSIS
  • INFLAMMATORY CELLS

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