The immune-stimulating peptide WKYMVm has therapeutic effects against ulcerative colitis

Exp Mol Med. 2013 Sep 13;45(9):e40. doi: 10.1038/emm.2013.77.


In this study, we examined the therapeutic effects of an immune-stimulating peptide, WKYMVm, in ulcerative colitis. The administration of WKYMVm to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-treated mice reversed decreases in body weight, bleeding score and stool score in addition to reversing DSS-induced mucosa destruction and shortened colon. The WKYMVm-induced therapeutic effect against ulcerative colitis was strongly inhibited by a formyl peptide receptor (FPR) 2 antagonist, WRWWWW, indicating the crucial role of FPR2 in this effect. Mechanistically, WKYMVm effectively decreases intestinal permeability by stimulating colon epithelial cell proliferation. WKYMVm also strongly decreases interleukin-23 and transforming growth factor-β production in the colon of DSS-treated mice. We suggest that the potent immune-modulating peptide WKYMVm and its receptor FPR2 may be useful in the development of efficient therapeutic agents against chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / metabolism
  • Colon / pathology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-23 / genetics
  • Interleukin-23 / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology
  • Oligopeptides / therapeutic use*
  • Permeability
  • Receptors, Formyl Peptide / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Interleukin-23
  • Oligopeptides
  • Receptors, Formyl Peptide
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Trp-Lys-Tyr-Met-Val-Met
  • formyl peptide receptor 2, mouse
  • tryptophyl-arginyl-tryptophyl-tryptophyl-tryptophyl-tryptophanamide