Dendritic cells (DCs) mediate host immune responses to gut microbes and play critical roles in inflammatory bowel disease. In this study, we examined the role of TGF-β signaling in DCs in colonic homeostasis. CD11c-cre Tgfbr2fl/fl mice developed spontaneous colitis, and CD11c-cre Tgfbr2fl/+ mice exhibited susceptibility to dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis. Colitis in these mice was characterized by goblet cell depletion and dysbiosis caused by Enterobacteriaceae enrichment. Wild-type mice gavaged with Enterobacteriaceae from CD11c-cre Tgfbr2fl/fl mice feces showed severe colitis after dextran sulfate sodium treatment, whereas those treated with Notch inhibitor exhibited attenuated colonic injury with increased goblet cell numbers, thickened mucus layer, and fewer fecal Enterobacteriaceae. Wild-type mice transplanted with CD11c-cre Tgfbr2fl/fl bone marrow developed colitis showing increased Jagged1 and Jagged2 in DCs, increased Hes1 levels in epithelium, and goblet cell depletion. These findings suggest that TGF-β signaling in DCs regulates intestinal homeostasis by modulating epithelial cell differentiation and fecal microbiota.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy