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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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  3. ABSTRACT Background High intakes of fructose are associated with metabolic diseases, including hypertriglyceridemia and intestinal tumor growth. Although small intestinal epithelia consist of many different cell types, express lipogenic genes, and convert dietary fructose to fatty acids, there is no information on the identity of the cell type(s) mediating this conversion and on the effects of fructose on lipogenic gene expression. Objectives We hypothesized that fructose regulates the intestinal expression of genes involved in lipid and apolipoprotein synthesis, that regulation depends on the fructose transporter solute carrier family 2 member a5 [Slc2a5 (glucose transporter 5)] and on ketohexokinase (Khk), and that regulation occurs only in enterocytes. Methods We compared lipogenic gene expression among different organs from wild-type adult male C57BL mice consuming a standard vivarium nonpurified diet. We then gavaged twice daily for 2.5 d fructose or glucose solutions (15%, 0.3 mL per mouse) into wild-type, Slc2a5-knockout (KO), and Khk-KO mice with free access to the nonpurified diet and determined expression of representative lipogenic genes. Finally, from mice fed the nonpurified diet, we made organoids highly enriched in enterocyte, goblet, Paneth, or stem cells and then incubated them overnight in 10 mM fructose or glucose. Results Most lipogenic genes were significantly expressed in the intestine relative to the kidney, liver, lung, and skeletal muscle. In vivo expression of Srebf1, Acaca, Fasn, Scd1, Dgat1, Gk, Apoa4, and Apob mRNA and of Scd1 protein increased (P < 0.05) by 3- to 20-fold in wild-type, but not in Slc2a5-KO and Khk-KO, mice gavaged with fructose. In vitro, Slc2a5- and Khk-dependent, fructose-induced increases, which ranged from 1.5- to 4-fold (P < 0.05), in mRNA concentrations of all these genes were observed only in organoids enriched in enterocytes. Conclusions Fructose specifically stimulates expression of mouse small intestinal genes for lipid and apolipoprotein synthesis. Secretory and stem cells seem incapable of transport- and metabolism-dependent lipogenesis, occurring only in absorptive enterocytes. 
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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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  5. 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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  6. Abstract

    A number of studies have examined the effects of 1,25‐dihydroxyvitamin D3(1,25(OH)2D3) on intestinal inflammation driven by immune cells, while little information is currently available about its impact on inflammation caused by intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) defects. Mice lacking IEC‐specificRab11aa recycling endosome small GTPase resulted in increased epithelial cell production of inflammatory cytokines, notably IL‐6 and early onset of enteritis. To determine whether vitamin D supplementation may benefit hosts with epithelial cell‐originated mucosal inflammation, we evaluated in vivo effects of injected 1,25(OH)2D3or dietary supplement of a high dose of vitamin D on the gut phenotypes of IEC‐specificRab11aknockout mice (Rab11aΔIEC). 1,25(OH)2D3administered at 25 ng, two doses per mouse, by intraperitoneal injection, reduced inflammatory cytokine production in knockout mice compared to vehicle‐injected mice. Remarkably, feeding mice with dietary vitamin D supplementation at 20,000 IU/kg spanning fetal and postnatal developmental stages led to improved bodyweights, reduced immune cell infiltration, and decreased inflammatory cytokines. We found that these vitamin D effects were accompanied by decreased NF‐κB (p65) in the knockout intestinal epithelia, reduced tissue‐resident macrophages, and partial restoration of epithelial morphology. Our study suggests that dietary vitamin D supplementation may prevent and limit intestinal inflammation in hosts with high susceptibility to chronic inflammation.

     
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