Lipocalin 2 (Lcn2) is a multifunctional innate immune protein whose expression closely correlates with extent of intestinal inflammation. However, whether Lcn2 plays a role in the pathogenesis of gut inflammation is unknown. Herein, we investigated the extent to which Lcn2 regulates inflammation and gut bacterial dysbiosis in mouse models of IBD. Methods Lcn2 expression was monitored in murine colitis models and upon microbiota ablation/restoration. WT and Lcn2 knockout (Lcn2KO) mice were analyzed for gut bacterial load, composition by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing and, their colitogenic potential by co-housing with Il-10KO mice. Acute (dextran sodium sulfate) and chronic (IL-10R neutralization and T-cell adoptive transfer) colitis was induced in WT and Lcn2KO mice with or without antibiotics. Results Lcn2 expression was dramatically induced upon inflammation and was dependent upon presence of a gut microbiota and MyD88 signaling. Use of bone-marrow chimeric mice revealed non-immune cells are the major contributors of circulating Lcn2. Lcn2KO mice exhibited elevated levels of entA-expressing gut bacteria burden and, moreover, a broadly distinct bacterial community relative to WT littermates. Lcn2KO mice developed highly colitogenic T-cells and exhibited exacerbated colitis upon exposure to DSS or neutralization of IL-10. Such exacerbated colitis could be prevented by antibiotic treatment. Moreover, exposure to the microbiota of Lcn2KO mice, via cohousing, resulted in severe colitis in Il-10KO mice. Conclusion Lcn2 is a bacterially-induced, MyD88-dependent, protein that play an important role in gut homeostasis and a pivotal role upon challenge. Hence, therapeutic manipulation of Lcn2 levels may provide a strategy to help manage diseases driven by alteration of the gut microbiota.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rangaiah_shashidharamurthy/39/