Background: The Wnt/β-catenin pathway regulates intestinal development, homeostasis, and regeneration after injury. Wnt/β-catenin signaling drives intestinal proliferation by activating expression of the c-Myc proto-oncogene (Myc) through the Myc 3′ Wnt responsive DNA element (Myc 3′ WRE). In a previous study, we found that deletion of the Myc 3′ WRE in mice caused increased MYC expression and increased cellular proliferation in the colon. When damaged by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS), the increased proliferative capacity of Myc 3′ WRE-/- colonocytes resulted in a more rapid recovery compared with wild-type (WT) mice. In that study, we did not examine involvement of the immune system in colonic regeneration. Purpose: To characterize the innate immune response in Myc 3′ WRE-/- and WT mice during and after DSS-induced colonic injury. Methods: Mice were fed 2.5 % DSS in their drinking water for five days to induce colonic damage and were then returned to normal water for two or four days to recover. Colonic sections were prepared and neutrophils and macrophages were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Cytokine and chemokine levels were analyzed by probing a cytokine array with colonic lysates. Results: In comparison with WT mice, there was enhanced leukocyte infiltration into the colonic mucosal and submucosal layers of Myc 3′ WRE-/- mice after DSS damage. Levels of activated neutrophils were substantially increased in damaged Myc 3′ WRE-/- colons as were levels of the neutrophil chemoattractants C5/C5a, CXCL1, and CXCL2. Conclusion: The Myc 3′ WRE regulates neutrophil infiltration into DSS-damaged colons.
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