Gastrointestinal mucosa reserves abundant Th17 cells where host response to commensal bacteria maintains Th17-cell generation. Although functional heterogeneity and dynamic plasticity of Th17 cells appear to be involved in chronic inflammatory disorders, how their plasticity is regulated in intestinal mucosa is unknown. Here we show that innate TRIF signaling regulates intestinal Th17-cell generation and plasticity during colitis. Absence of TRIF in mice resulted in increased severity of experimental colitis, which was associated with aberrant generation of Th17 cells especially of interferon (IFN)-γ-expressing Th17 cells in the lamina propria. The abnormal generation and plasticity of Th17 cells involved impaired expression of interleukin (IL)-27p28 by lamina propria macrophages but not dendritic cells. Treatment of TRIF-deficient mice with IL-27p28 during colitis reduced the number and IFN-γ expression of Th17 cells in the intestine. In vitro, TRIF-deficient macrophages induced more Th17 cells than wild-type (WT) macrophages during co-culture with WT naive T cells in response to cecal bacterial antigen. Many of Th17 cells induced by TRIF-deficient macrophages expressed IFN-γ due to impaired expression of IL-27p28 by macrophages and defective activation of STAT1 in T cells. These results outline TRIF-dependent regulatory mechanism by which host response to intestinal bacteria maintains Th17-cell-mediated pathology during colitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy