A Novel Role for Programmed Cell Death Receptor Ligand-1 in Sepsis-Induced Intestinal Dysfunction

Youping Wu, Chun-Shiang Chung, Yaping Chen, Sean Farrell Monaghan, Sima Patel, Xin Huang, Daithi Seamus Heffernan, and Alfred Ayala
Studies imply that intestinal barrier dysfunction is a key contributor to morbid events associated with sepsis. Recently, the co-inhibitory molecule programmed death-ligand1 (PD-L1) has been shown to be involved in the regulation of intestinal immune tolerance and/or inflammation. Our previous studies showed that PD-L1 gene deficiency reduced sepsis-induced intestinal injury morphologically. However, it is not known how PD-L1 expression impacts intestinal barrier dysfunction during sepsis. Here we tested the hypothesis that PD-L1 expressed on intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) has a role in sepsis-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction. To address this, C57BL/6 or PD-L1 gene knockout mice were subjected to experimental sepsis and PD-L1 expression, intestinal permeability and tissue cytokine levels were assessed. Subsequently, septic or nonseptic colonic samples (assigned by pathology report) were immunohistochemically stained for PD-L1 in a blinded fashion. Finally, human Caco2 cells were used for in vitro studies. The results demonstrated that PD-L1 was constitutively expressed and sepsis significantly upregulates PD-L1 in IECs from C57BL/6 mice. Concurrently, we observed increased PD-L1 expression in colon tissue samples from septic patients. PD-L1 gene deficiency reduced ileal permeability and tissue levels of IL-6, TNF-α and MCP-1, and prevented ileal tight junction protein loss compared with WT after sepsis. Comparatively, while Caco2 cell monolayers also responded to inflammatory cytokine stimulation with elevated PD-L1 expression, increased monolayer permeability and altered/decreased monolayer tight junction protein morphology/expression, these changes were reversed by PD-L1 blocking antibody. Together these data indicate that ligation of PD-L1 plays a novel role in mediating the pathophysiology of sepsis-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction.
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Date Published
October 25, 2016
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Wu, Chung, Chen, Monaghan, Patel, Huang, Heffernan, Ayala, sepsis, leukocyte function, programmed cell ceath, receptor ligand-1,PD-L1, intestinal dysfunction, intestinal mucosal immune response, intestinal permeability, tight junction proteins
Article Type
Research Article