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  1. ABSTRACT Although Wnt signaling is clearly important for the intestinal epithelial homeostasis, the relevance of various sources of Wnt ligands themselves remains incompletely understood. Blocking the release of Wnt in distinct stromal cell types suggests obligatory functions of several stromal cell sources and yields different observations. The physiological contribution of epithelial Wnt to tissue homeostasis remains unclear. We show here that blocking epithelial Wnts affects colonic Reg4+ epithelial cell differentiation and impairs colonic epithelial regeneration after injury in mice. Single-cell RNA analysis of intestinal stroma showed that the majority of Wnt-producing cells were contained in transgelin (Tagln+) and smooth muscle actin α2 (Acta2+) expressing populations. We genetically attenuated Wnt production from these stromal cells using Tagln-Cre and Acta2-CreER drivers, and found that blockage of Wnt release from either epithelium or Tagln+ and Acta2+ stromal cells impaired colonic epithelial healing after chemical-induced injury. Aggregated blockage of Wnt release from both epithelium and Tagln+ or Acta2+ stromal cells drastically diminished epithelial repair, increasing morbidity and mortality. These results from two uncharacterized stromal populations suggested that colonic recovery from colitis-like injury depends on multiple Wnt-producing sources. 
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  2. Abstract

    RAB11 small GTPases and associated recycling endosome have been localized to mitotic spindles and implicated in regulating mitosis. However, the physiological significance of such regulation has not been observed in mammalian tissues. We have used newly engineered mouse models to investigate intestinal epithelial renewal in the absence of single or double isoforms of RAB11 family members: Rab11a and Rab11b. Comparing with single knockouts, mice with compound ablation demonstrate a defective cell cycle entry and robust mitotic arrest followed by apoptosis, leading to a total penetrance of lethality within 3 days of gene ablation. UponRab11deletionex vivo, enteroids show abnormal mitotic spindle formation and cell death. Untargeted proteomic profiling of Rab11a and Rab11b immunoprecipitates has uncovered a shared interactome containing mitotic spindle microtubule regulators. Disrupting Rab11 alters kinesin motor KIF11 function and impairs bipolar spindle formation and cell division. These data demonstrate that RAB11A and RAB11B redundantly control mitotic spindle function and intestinal progenitor cell division, a mechanism that may be utilized to govern the homeostasis and renewal of other mammalian tissues.

     
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    Paneth cells are the primary source of C-type lysozyme, a b-1,4-N-acetylmuramoylhydrolase that enzymatically processes bacterial cell walls. Paneth cells are normally present in human cecum and ascending colon, but are rarely found in descending colon and rectum; Paneth cell metaplasia in this region and aberrant lysozyme production are hallmarks of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) pathology. Here, we examined the impact of aberrant lysozyme production in colonic inflammation. Targeted disruption of Paneth cell lysozyme (Lyz1) protected mice from experimental colitis. Lyz1-deficiency diminished intestinal immune responses to bacterial molecular patterns and resulted in the expansion of lysozyme-sensitive mucolytic bacteria, including Ruminococcus gnavus, a Crohn’s disease-associated pathobiont. Ectopic lysozyme production in colonic epithelium suppressed lysozyme-sensitive bacteria and exacerbated colitis. Transfer of R. gnavus into Lyz1/ hosts elicited a type 2 immune response, causing epithelial reprograming and enhanced anti-colitogenic capacity. In contrast, in lysozyme-intact hosts, processed R. gnavus drove pro-inflammatory responses. Thus, Paneth cell lysozyme balances intestinal anti- and pro-inflammatory responses, with implications for IBD. 
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  6. Abstract

    Paneth cells (PCs), a specialized secretory cell type in the small intestine, are increasingly recognized as having an essential role in host responses to microbiome and environmental stresses. Whether and how commensal and pathogenic microbes modify PC composition to modulate inflammation remain unclear. Using newly developed PC‐reporter mice under conventional and gnotobiotic conditions, we determined PC transcriptomic heterogeneity in response to commensal and invasive microbes at single cell level. Infection expands the pool of CD74+PCs, whose number correlates with auto or allogeneic inflammatory disease progressions in mice. Similar correlation was found in human inflammatory disease tissues. Infection‐stimulated cytokines increase production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and expression of a PC‐specific mucosal pentraxin (Mptx2) in activated PCs. A PC‐specific ablation ofMyD88reduced CD74+PC population, thus ameliorating pathogen‐induced systemic disease. A similar phenotype was also observed in mice lacking Mptx2. Thus, infection stimulates expansion of a PC subset that influences disease progression.

     
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