Background and Aims: Disturbance of intestinal homeostasis is associated with the development of inflammatory bowel disease [IBD], and TGF-β signalling impairment in mononuclear phagocytes [MPs] causes murine colitis with goblet cell depletion. Here, we examined an organoid-MP co-culture system to study the role of MPs in intestinal epithelial differentiation and homeostasis. Methods: Intestinal organoids were co-cultured with lamina propria leukocytes and bone marrow-derived dendritic cells [BMDCs] from CD11c-cre Tgfbr2fl/fl mice. Organoid-MP adhesive interactions were evaluated by microscopy, RT-PCR, and flow cytometry. Murine colitis models (dextran sodium sulphate [DSS], CD11c-cre Tgfbr2fl/fl, T-cell-transfer) were used for histological and immunohistochemical analysis. Anti-E-cadherin antibody treatment or CD11c+-cell-specific CDH1 gene deletion were performed for E-cadherin neutralization or knockout. Colonic biopsies from patients with ulcerative colitis were analysed by flow cytometry. Results: Intestinal organoids co-cultured with CD11c+ lamina propria leukocytes or BMDCs from CD11c-cre Tgfbr2fl/fl mice showed morphological changes and goblet cell depletion with Notch signal activation, analogous to CD11c-cre Tgfbr2fl/fl colitis. E-cadherin was upregulated in CD11c+ MPs, especially CX3CR1+CCR2+ monocytes, of CD11c-cre Tgfbr2fl/fl mice. E-cadherin-mediated BMDC adhesion promoted Notch activation and cystic changes in organoids. Anti-E-cadherin antibody treatment attenuated colitis in CD11c-cre Tgfbr2fl/fl and T-cell-transferred mice. In addition, E-cadherin deletion in CD11c+ cells attenuated colitis in both CD11c-cre Tgfbr2fl/fl and DSS-treated mice. In patients with ulcerative colitis, E-cadherin expressed by intestinal CD11c+ leukocytes was enhanced compared with that in healthy controls. Conclusions: E-cadherin-mediated MP-epithelium adhesion is associated with the development of colitis, and blocking these adhesions may have therapeutic potential for IBD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas