Activation of guanylate cyclase C signaling pathway protects intestinal epithelial cells from acute radiation-induced apoptosis

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and University of Cincinnati, MLC 2010, 3333 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.
AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology (Impact Factor: 3.8). 03/2009; 296(4):G740-9. DOI: 10.1152/ajpgi.90268.2008
Source: PubMed


Uroguanylin (UGN) is a peptide hormone that binds to and activates the intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) transmembrane receptor guanylate cyclase C (GC-C), which in turn increases intracellular cGMP. Gene targeting of murine UGN or GC-C results in significantly lower levels of cGMP in IECs. On the basis of effects of cGMP in nonintestinal systems, we hypothesized that loss of GC-C activation would increase intestinal epithelial apoptosis following radiation-induced injury. We first compared apoptosis from the proximal jejunum of C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) and GC-C knockout (KO) mice 3 h after they received 5 Gy of gamma-irradiation. We then investigated whether supplementation via intraperitoneal injection of 1 mM 8BrcGMP would mitigate radiation-induced apoptosis in these experimental animals. Identical experiments were performed in BALB/c UGN WT and KO mice. Apoptosis was assessed by quantitating morphological indications of cell death, terminal dUTP nick-end labeling, and cleaved caspase 3 immunohistochemistry. Both UGN KO and GC-C KO mice were more susceptible than their WT littermates in this in vivo model of apoptotic injury. Furthermore, cGMP supplementation in both GC-C and UGN KO animals ameliorated radiation-induced apoptosis. Neither WT strain demonstrated significant alteration in apoptotic susceptibility as a result of cGMP supplementation before radiation injury. These in vivo findings demonstrate increased radiosensitivity of IECs in UGN and GC-C KO mice and a role for cGMP as a primary downstream mediator of GC-C activation in the protection of these IECs from radiation-induced apoptosis.

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    • "Recent studies by our group and others underscore the complex role of GC-C in intestinal disorders. Mice having the Gucy2c gene deleted (GC-C−/−) are sensitive to radiation damage as measured by elevated epithelial cell apoptosis [11]. We have also shown that GC-C−/− mice have defective barrier function in the small intestine and that bacterial translocation is enhanced during the stress of intraperitoneal endotoxin challenge [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Guanylate Cyclase C (GC-C; Gucy2c) is a transmembrane receptor expressed in intestinal epithelial cells. Activation of GC-C by its secreted ligand guanylin stimulates intestinal fluid secretion. Familial mutations in GC-C cause chronic diarrheal disease or constipation and are associated with intestinal inflammation and infection. Here, we investigated the impact of GC-C activity on mucosal immune responses. We utilized intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide to elicit a systemic cytokine challenge and then measured pro-inflammatory gene expression in colonic mucosa. GC-C(+/+) and GC-C(-/-) mice were bred with interleukin (IL)-10 deficient animals and colonic inflammation were assessed. Immune cell influx and cytokine/chemokine expression was measured in the colon of wildtype, IL-10(-/-), GC-C(+/+)IL-10(-/-) and GC-C(-/-)IL-10(-/-) mice. GC-C and guanylin production were examined in the colon of these animals and in a cytokine-treated colon epithelial cell line. Relative to GC-C(+/+) animals, intraperitoneal lipopolysaccharide injection into GC-C(-/-) mice increased proinflammatory gene expression in both whole colon tissue and in partially purified colonocyte isolations. Spontaneous colitis in GC-C(-/-)IL-10(-/-) animals was significantly more severe relative to GC-C(+/+)IL-10(-/-) mice. Unlike GC-C(+/+)IL-10(-/-) controls, colon pathology in GC-C(-/-)IL-10(-/-) animals was apparent at an early age and was characterized by severely altered mucosal architecture, crypt abscesses, and hyperplastic subepithelial lesions. F4/80 and myeloperoxidase positive cells as well as proinflammatory gene expression were elevated in GC-C(-/-)IL-10(-/-) mucosa relative to control animals. Guanylin was diminished early in colitis in vivo and tumor necrosis factor α suppressed guanylin mRNA and protein in intestinal goblet cell-like HT29-18-N2 cells. The GC-C signaling pathway blunts colonic mucosal inflammation that is initiated by systemic cytokine burst or loss of mucosal immune cell immunosuppression. These data as well as the apparent intestinal inflammation in human GC-C mutant kindred underscore the importance of GC-C in regulating the response to injury and inflammation within the gut.
    PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e79180. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0079180 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "We have previously shown that GC-C activity plays an important role in regulating epithelial apoptosis during radiation and chemical challenge [17,18]. C. rodentium infection is associated with increased epithelial cell death in the intestine [1]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Guanylate Cyclase C (GC-C) is an apically-oriented transmembrane receptor that is expressed on epithelial cells of the intestine. Activation of GC-C by the endogenous ligands guanylin or uroguanylin elevates intracellular cGMP and is implicated in intestinal ion secretion, cell proliferation, apoptosis, intestinal barrier function, as well as the susceptibility of the intestine to inflammation. Our aim was to determine if GC-C is required for host defense during infection by the murine enteric pathogen Citrobacter rodentium of the family Enterobacteriacea. GC-C+/+ control mice or those having GC-C genetically ablated (GC-C-/-) were administered C. rodentium by orogastric gavage and analyzed at multiple time points up to post-infection day 20. Commensal bacteria were characterized in uninfected GC-C+/+ and GC-C-/- mice using 16S rRNA PCR analysis. GC-C-/- mice had an increase in C. rodentium bacterial load in stool relative to GC-C+/+. C. rodentium infection strongly decreased guanylin expression in GC-C+/+ mice and, to an even greater degree, in GC-C-/- animals. Fluorescent tracer studies indicated that mice lacking GC-C, unlike GC-C+/+ animals, had a substantial loss of intestinal barrier function early in the course of infection. Epithelial cell apoptosis was significantly increased in GC-C-/- mice following 10 days of infection and this was associated with increased frequency and numbers of C. rodentium translocation out of the intestine. Infection led to significant liver histopathology in GC-C-/- mice as well as lymphocyte infiltration and elevated cytokine and chemokine expression. Relative to naive GC-C+/+ mice, the commensal microflora load in uninfected GC-C-/- mice was decreased and bacterial composition was imbalanced and included outgrowth of the Enterobacteriacea family. This work demonstrates the novel finding that GC-C signaling is an essential component of host defense during murine enteric infection by reducing bacterial load and preventing systemic dissemination of attaching/effacing-lesion forming bacterial pathogens such as C. rodentium.
    BMC Gastroenterology 09/2013; 13(1):135. DOI:10.1186/1471-230X-13-135 · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    • "Our study suggests that commensal intestinal bacteria could play a significant role in maintaining intestinal homeostasis after radiation exposure. Activation of TLRs by commensal micobiota has been shown to augment mucosal restitution and modulate inflammatory response in sepsis in response to various forms of injury including radiation injury [44], [45], [46], necrotizing enterocolitis or experimental colitis [16], [47]. Pericryptal macrophages act as an important member of the ISC niche and crosstalks with intestinal subepithelial myofibroblast and ISC is essential to maintain intestinal epithelial homeostasis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Radiation-induced gastrointestinal syndrome (RIGS) is due to the clonogenic loss of crypt cells and villi depopulation, resulting in disruption of mucosal barrier, bacterial invasion, inflammation and sepsis. Intestinal macrophages could recognize invading bacterial DNA via TLR9 receptors and transmit regenerative signals to the neighboring crypt. We therefore investigated whether systemic administration of designer TLR9 agonist could ameliorate RIGS by activating TLR9. Male C57Bl6 mice were distributed in four experimental cohorts, whole body irradiation (WBI) (8.4-10.4 Gy), TLR9 agonist (1 mg/kg s.c.), 1 h pre- or post-WBI and TLR9 agonist+WBI+iMyd88 (pretreatment with inhibitory peptide against Myd88). Animals were observed for survival and intestine was harvested for histological analysis. BALB/c mice with CT26 colon tumors in abdominal wall were irradiated with 14 Gy single dose of whole abdominal irradiation (AIR) for tumor growth study. Mice receiving pre-WBI TLR9 agonist demonstrated improvement of survival after 10.4 Gy (p<0.03), 9.4 Gy (p<0.008) and 8.4 Gy (p<0.002) of WBI, compared to untreated or iMyd88-treated controls. Post-WBI TLR9 agonist mitigates up to 8.4 Gy WBI (p<0.01). Histological analysis and xylose absorption test demonstrated significant structural and functional restitution of the intestine in WBI+TLR9 agonist cohorts. Although, AIR reduced tumor growth, all animals died within 12 days from RIGS. TLR9 agonist improved the survival of mice beyond 28 days post-AIR (p<0.008) with significant reduction of tumor growth (p<0.0001). TLR9 agonist treatment could serve both as a prophylactic or mitigating agent against acute radiation syndrome and also as an adjuvant therapy to increase the therapeutic ratio of abdominal Radiation Therapy for Gastro Intestinal malignancies.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e29357. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0029357 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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