TREM-1--expressing intestinal macrophages crucially amplify chronic inflammation in experimental colitis and inflammatory bowel diseases

J Clin Invest. 2007 Oct;117(10):3097-106. doi: 10.1172/JCI30602.


Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (TREM-1) potently amplifies acute inflammatory responses by enhancing degranulation and secretion of proinflammatory mediators. Here we demonstrate that TREM-1 is also crucially involved in chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Myeloid cells of the normal intestine generally lack TREM-1 expression. In experimental mouse models of colitis and in patients with IBD, however, TREM-1 expression in the intestine was upregulated and correlated with disease activity. TREM-1 significantly enhanced the secretion of relevant proinflammatory mediators in intestinal macrophages from IBD patients. Blocking TREM-1 by the administration of an antagonistic peptide substantially attenuated clinical course and histopathological alterations in experimental mouse models of colitis. This effect was also seen when the antagonistic peptide was administered only after the first appearance of clinical signs of colitis. Hence, TREM-1-mediated amplification of inflammation contributes not only to the exacerbation of acute inflammatory disorders but also to the perpetuation of chronic inflammatory disorders. Furthermore, interfering with TREM-1 engagement leads to the simultaneous reduction of production and secretion of a variety of pro-inflammatory mediators such as TNF, IL-6, IL-8 (CXCL8), MCP-1 (CCL2), and IL-1beta. Therefore, TREM-1 may also represent an attractive target for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colitis / immunology*
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Intestines / pathology
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Immunologic / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells-1


  • Cytokines
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • TREM1 protein, human
  • Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells-1