Paneth cells (PCs) are specialized epithelial cells of the small bowel that contain multiple secretory granules filled with antimicrobial peptides and trophic factors, which are essential for the control of the microorganisms growth and maintaining intestinal integrity. Alterations in their function are associated with an imbalance of the normal microbiota, gastrointestinal infections and inflammatory processes, such as Crohn's disease (CD). One of the most common murine models for studying CD is IL-10-/- mouse. IL-10-/- mice when housed in conventional conditions and take contact with commensal microorganisms develop an acute enterocolitis mediated by a Th1 immune response. Even though, alterations in PCs function are related to CD, they had not been characterized yet in this mouse model. Here we show that in specific pathogen free conditions IL-10-/- mice have aberrant granules and a large number of immature PCs at the bottom of the crypt in the ileum of IL-10-/- mice before developing intestinal inflammation, along with a reduced expression of Indian Hedgehog. In addition, IL-10-/- Paneth cells presented a reduced expression of cryptidin-4, and a heterogeneous distribution of lysozyme+ granules. The alterations in the maturation of the PCs at the bottom of the crypt were not modified after the colonization by the conventional microbiota. On the other hand, depletion of microbiota altered the phenotype, but did not normalize PCs. Our results suggest that IL-10 could be necessary for the integrity of PCs. Moreover, our results help to explain why IL-10-/- mice develop enterocolitis in response to microorganisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)