Sterile neutrophilia induced via CXCR4 antagonism ameliorates colonic inflammation by increasing immunosuppressive regulatory T cells Article (Web of Science)


  • Abstract Sterile neutrophilia (SN) is commonly associated with chronic disease, but its role in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) is largely unknown. AMD3100 (plerixafor; AMD) is a CXCR4 antagonist that promotes neutrophil egress from bone marrow resulting in SN. To study the role of SN in IBD, we induced chronic intestinal inflammation in C57BL6 mice via 4 weekly injections of IL-10R neutralizing antibody and administered AMD (10 mg/kg bw, i.p., twice weekly) or vehicle. As expected, AMD-treated control and colitic mice had increased peripheral and splenic neutrophils. AMD treatment remarkably reduced epithelial damage and hyperplasia, immune cell infiltration, and disease activity index. To elucidate the protective mechanism, we analyzed immune cells in peripheral circulation, spleen and lamina propria. In circulation, colitic mice with AMD treatment had elevated % CD3+CD4+ helper T cells (Th) but reduced % CD3+CD8+ cytotoxic T (Tc) cells. Yet, the % CD3+CD4+FoxP3+ cells (Tregs) and % CD3+CD4+RORγt+ cells (Th17) remained unchanged. In spleen, AMD treatment significantly increased Tregs, but decreased Th and Tc cells. In lamina propria, AMD treatment markedly elevated Tregs, including RORγt+ Tregs and tolerogenic IL-10+ Tregs. Conversely, the inflammatory IL-17+ Th cells were decreased in AMD-treated colitic mice. In addition to the immunosuppressive milieu, AMD-treated colitic mice had increased ileal expression of the antimicrobial peptide angiogenin 4, which further suggests SN to be important in maintaining gut microbiota homeostasis. Collectively, our results demonstrate that SN could be an adaptive and beneficial immune response during chronic intestinal inflammation. This research was funded by R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) [grant number CA219144] and Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCF) [grant number 855256].


publication date

  • 2022

published in

start page

  • 54.11

end page

  • 54.11


  • 208


  • 1_Supplement