Oncostatin M mediates STAT3-dependent intestinal epithelial restitution via increased cell proliferation, decreased apoptosis and upregulation of SERPIN family members

PLoS One. 2014 Apr 7;9(4):e93498. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093498. eCollection 2014.


Objective: Oncostatin M (OSM) is produced by activated T cells, monocytes, and dendritic cells and signals through two distinct receptor complexes consisting of gp130 and LIFR (I) or OSMR-β and gp130 (II), respectively. Aim of this study was to analyze the role of OSM in intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) and intestinal inflammation.

Methods: OSM expression and OSM receptor distribution was analyzed by PCR and immunohistochemistry experiments, signal transduction by immunoblotting. Gene expression studies were performed by microarray analysis and RT-PCR. Apoptosis was measured by caspases-3/7 activity. IEC migration and proliferation was studied in wounding and water soluble tetrazolium assays.

Results: The IEC lines Caco-2, DLD-1, SW480, HCT116 and HT-29 express mRNA for the OSM receptor subunits gp130 and OSMR-β, while only HCT116, HT-29 and DLD-1 cells express LIFR mRNA. OSM binding to its receptor complex activates STAT1, STAT3, ERK-1/2, SAPK/JNK-1/2, and Akt. Microarray analysis revealed 79 genes that were significantly up-regulated (adj.-p ≤ 0.05) by OSM in IEC. Most up-regulated genes belong to the functional categories "immunity and defense" (p = 2.1 × 10(-7)), "apoptosis" (p = 3.7 × 10(-4)) and "JAK/STAT cascade" (p = 3.4 × 10(-6)). Members of the SERPIN gene family were among the most strongly up-regulated genes. OSM significantly increased STAT3- and MEK1-dependent IEC cell proliferation (p<0.05) and wound healing (p = 3.9 × 10(-5)). OSM protein expression was increased in colonic biopsies of patients with active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Conclusions: OSM promotes STAT3-dependent intestinal epithelial cell proliferation and wound healing in vitro. Considering the increased OSM expression in colonic biopsy specimens of patients with active IBD, OSM upregulation may modulate a barrier-protective host response in intestinal inflammation. Further in vivo studies are warranted to elucidate the exact role of OSM in intestinal inflammation and the potential of OSM as a drug target in IBD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / metabolism*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Oncostatin M / metabolism*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Serpins / biosynthesis*
  • Up-Regulation
  • Wound Healing


  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • Serpins
  • Oncostatin M

Grants and funding

This work is supported by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, BE 4490/2-1) to F. Beigel. S. Brand is supported by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, BR 1912/6-1) and the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (Else Kröner Exzellenzstipendium 2010; 2010_EKES.32). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.