Involvement of the IL-22/REG Iα axis in ulcerative colitis

Akira Sekikawa, Hirokazu Fukui, Katsumasa Suzuki, Toyohiko Karibe, Shigehiko Fujii, Kazuhito Ichikawa, Shigeki Tomita, Johji Imura, Keiko Shiratori, Tsutomu Chiba, Takahiro Fujimori

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    59 Scopus citations


    The Regenerating gene (REG) Iα protein, a trophic and/or anti-apoptotic factor, is important in the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal inflammation. Interleukin (IL)-22 is a recently identified cytokine that is suggested to have pivotal roles in inflammatory bowel diseases. We therefore investigated the involvement of the IL-22/REG Iα axis and examined the mechanism of regulation of REG Iα expression by IL-22 stimulation in ulcerative colitis (UC) mucosa. Expression of IL-22, IL-22 receptor 1 (IL-22R1), and REG Iα in UC mucosa was analyzed by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. The effects of IL-22 on REG Iα protein expression were examined using a small-interfering RNA for STAT3, an MAPK inhibitor or a PI3K inhibitor. The element responsible for IL-22-induced REG Iα promoter activation was determined by a promoter deletion and electrophoretic mobility shift assay. The expression of IL-22 was enhanced in infiltrating inflammatory cells, and that of IL-22R1 and REG Iα was concurrently enhanced in the inflamed epithelium in UC mucosa. The levels of REG Iα and IL-22 mRNA expression were strongly correlated, and the distributions of REG Iα-and IL-22R1-positive epithelial cells were very similar. IL-22 simulation enhanced the expression of REG Iα protein through STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation in colon cancer cells. The IL-22-responsive element was located between 142 and 134 in the REG Iα promoter region. REG Iα protein may have a pathophysiological role as a biological mediator for immune cell-derived IL-22 in the UC mucosa.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)496-505
    Number of pages10
    JournalLaboratory Investigation
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


    • IL-22
    • IL-22 receptor
    • REG
    • STAT3
    • Ulcerative colitis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology

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    Sekikawa, A., Fukui, H., Suzuki, K., Karibe, T., Fujii, S., Ichikawa, K., Tomita, S., Imura, J., Shiratori, K., Chiba, T., & Fujimori, T. (2010). Involvement of the IL-22/REG Iα axis in ulcerative colitis. Laboratory Investigation, 90(3), 496-505.