Dendritic cells from Crohn's disease patients show aberrant STAT1 and STAT3 signaling

PLoS One. 2013 Aug 7;8(8):e70738. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070738. eCollection 2013.

Abstract

Abnormalities of dendritic cells (DCs) and STAT proteins have been reported in Crohn's disease (CD). Studies on JAK/STAT signaling in DCs are, however, lacking in CD. We applied a flowcytometric single-cell-based phosphoepitope assay to evaluate STAT1 and STAT3 pathways in DC subsets from CD patients. In addition, circulating DC counts were determined, together with the activation-related immunophenotype. We found that IL-6- and IFN-α-induced STAT3 phosphorylation and IFN-α-induced STAT1 phosphorylation were impaired in plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) from CD patients (P = 0.005, P = 0.013, and P = 0.006, respectively). In myeloid DCs (mDCs), IFN-α-induced STAT1 and STAT3 phosphorylation were attenuated (P<0.001 and P = 0.048, respectively), but IL-10-induced STAT3 phosphorylation was enhanced (P = 0.026). IFN-γ-induced STAT1 signaling was intact in both DC subtypes. Elevated plasma IL-6 levels were detected in CD (P = 0.004), which strongly correlated with disease activity (ρ = 0.690, P<0.001) but not with IL-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation. The numbers of pDCs and BDCA3+ mDCs were decreased, and CD40 expression on CD1c+ mDCs was increased in CD. When elucidating the effect of IL-6 signaling on pDC function, we observed that IL-6 treatment of healthy donor pDCs affected the maturation of and modified the T-cell priming by pDCs, favoring Th2 over Th1 type of response and the expression of IL-10 in T cells. Our results implicate DC signaling in human CD. Reduced IL-6 responsiveness in pDCs, together with the attenuated IFN-α-induced signaling in both DC subtypes, may contribute to the immunological dysregulation in CD patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD1 / metabolism
  • Antigens, Surface / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD40 Antigens / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Crohn Disease / blood
  • Crohn Disease / genetics
  • Crohn Disease / metabolism*
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-10 / genetics
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-10 / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Th2 Cells / cytology
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Antigens, CD1
  • Antigens, Surface
  • CD1C protein, human
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Glycoproteins
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor
  • STAT1 protein, human
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • blood dendritic cell antigen 3, human
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interferon-gamma

Grant support

JKN and OV were supported in part by grants from Finska Läkaresällskapet and the Sigrid Juselius Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.