Background & aims: KPV is a tripeptide (Lys-Pro-Val), which possesses anti-inflammatory properties; however, its mechanisms of action still remain unknown. PepT1 is a di/tripeptide transporter normally expressed in the small intestine and induced in colon during inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to 1) investigate whether the KPV anti-inflammatory effect is PepT1-mediated in intestinal epithelian and immune cells, and 2) examine the anti-inflammatory effects in two models of mice colitis.
Methods: Human intestinal epithelial cells Caco2-BBE, HT29-Cl.19A, and human T cells (Jurkat) were stimulated with pro-inflammatory cytokines in the present or absence of KPV. KPV anti-inflammatory effect was assessed using a NF-kappaB luciferase gene reporter, Western blot, real-time RT-PCR and ELISA. Uptake experiments were performed using cold KPV as a competitor for PepT1 radiolabelled substrate or using [(3)H]KPV to determine kinetic characteristics of KPV uptake. Anti-inflammatory effect of KPV was also investigated in DSS- and TNBS-induced colitis in mice. KPV was added to drinking water and inflammation was assessed at the histologic level and by proinflammatory cytokine mRNA expression.
Results: Nanomolar concentrations of KPV inhibit the activation of NF-kappaB and MAP kinase inflammatory signaling pathways, and reduce pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion. We found that KPV acts via PepT1 expressed in immune and intestinal epithelial cells. Furthermore, oral administration of KPV reduces the incidence of DSS- and TNBS-induced colitis indicated by a decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokine expression.
Conclusions: This study indicates tht KPV is transported into cells by PepT1 and might be a new therapeutic agent for IBD.