Localized Delivery of Interferon-β by Lactobacillus Exacerbates Experimental Colitis
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BACKGROUND: There have been conflicting reports of the role of Type I interferons (IFN) in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Clinical trials have shown potent efficacy of systemic interferon-beta (IFN-β) in inducing remission of ulcerative colitis. Likewise, IFNAR1(-/-) mice display an increased sensitivity to dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis, suggesting Type I IFN play a protective role during inflammation of the gut. Curiously, however, there have also been reports detailing the spontaneous development of IBD in patients receiving systemic IFN-β therapy for multiple sclerosis or hepatitis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To investigate the effects of local administration of IFN-β on a murine model of colitis, we developed a transgenic Lactobacillus acidophilus strain that constitutively expresses IFN-β (La-IFN-β). While pretreatment of mice with control Lactobacillus (La-EV) provided slight protective benefits, La-IFN-β increased sensitivity to DSS. Analysis showed colitic mice pretreated with La-IFN-β had increased production of TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-17A and IL-13 by intestinal tissues and decreased regulatory T cells (Tregs) in their small intestine. Examination of CD103(+) dendritic cells (DCs) in the Peyer's patches revealed that IFNAR1 expression was dramatically reduced by La-IFN-β. Similarly, bone marrow-derived DCs matured with La-IFN-β experienced a 3-fold reduction of IFNAR1 and were impaired in their ability to induce Tregs. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our IFNAR1 expression data identifies a correlation between the loss/downregulation of IFNAR1 on DCs and exacerbation of colitis. Our data show that Lactobacillus secreting IFN-β has an immunological effect that in our model results in the exacerbation of colitis. This study underscores that the selection of therapeutics delivered by a bacterial vehicle must take into consideration the simultaneous effects of the vehicle itself.
author list (cited authors)
McFarland, A. P., Savan, R., Wagage, S., Addison, A., Ramakrishnan, K., Karwan, M., Duong, T., & Young, H. A.