Background & aims: Constitutive signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 activation promotes chronic inflammation and epithelial proliferation in murine colitis and human inflammatory bowel disease. SHP-2, through binding to the glycoprotein 130 signaling receptor, negatively regulates STAT3 activation. Growth hormone reduces disease activity and promotes mucosal healing in colitis and can activate SHP-2.
Methods: We hypothesized that growth hormone administration would reduce disease activity in experimental colitis and that this would involve modulation of SHP-2/glycoprotein 130 association and STAT3 activation.
Results: Growth hormone administration improved weight gain and colon histology in interleukin 10-null mice with colitis. Growth hormone reduced apoptosis and increased proliferation of crypt epithelial cells while increasing apoptosis of lamina propria mononuclear cells. Growth hormone increased SHP-2/glycoprotein 130 association and reduced colonic STAT3 activation in interleukin 10-null mice and in biopsy samples from patients with Crohn's colitis. Expression of the antiapoptotic protein bcl-2 was increased in crypt epithelial cells after growth hormone treatment. Growth hormone increased SHP-2/glycoprotein 130 binding and reduced interleukin 6-dependent STAT3 activation in the T84 human colon carcinoma and Jurkat human T-cell leukemia lines.
Conclusions: Growth hormone administration improves weight gain and reduces disease activity in interleukin 10-null mice with colitis. The improvement in disease activity is associated with increased SHP-2/glycoprotein 130 binding and reduced STAT3 activation in both murine and Crohn's colitis. Growth hormone may be a useful therapy in inflammatory bowel disease, in terms of both improving anabolic metabolism and enhancing mucosal healing.