Inhibition of a novel fibrogenic factor Tl1a reverses established colonic fibrosis

Mucosal Immunol. 2014 Nov;7(6):1492-503. doi: 10.1038/mi.2014.37. Epub 2014 May 21.


Intestinal fibrostenosis is among the hallmarks of severe Crohn's disease. Patients with certain TNFSF15 (gene name for TL1A) variants over-express TL1A and have a higher risk of developing strictures in the small intestine. In addition, sustained Tl1a expression in mice leads to small and large intestinal fibrostenosis under colitogenic conditions. The aim of this study was to determine whether established murine colonic fibrosis could be reversed with Tl1a antibody (Ab). Treatment with neutralizing Tl1a Ab reversed colonic fibrosis back to the original pre-inflamed levels, potentially as a result of lowered expression of connective tissue growth factor, Il31Ra, transforming growth factor β1 and insulin-like growth factor-1. In addition, blocking Tl1a function by either neutralizing Tl1a Ab or deletion of death domain receptor 3 (Dr3) reduced the number of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts, the primary cell types that mediate tissue fibrosis. Primary intestinal myofibroblasts expressed Dr3 and functionally responded to direct Tl1a signaling by increasing collagen and Il31Ra expression. These data demonstrated a direct role for TL1A-DR3 signaling in tissue fibrosis and that modulation of TL1A-DR3 signaling could inhibit gut fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / pharmacology
  • Colon / immunology*
  • Colon / pathology
  • Crohn Disease / genetics
  • Crohn Disease / immunology*
  • Crohn Disease / pathology
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Myofibroblasts / immunology
  • Myofibroblasts / pathology
  • Receptors, Interleukin / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin / immunology
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Member 25 / genetics
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Member 25 / immunology
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 15 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 15 / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 15 / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • IL31RA protein, human
  • Il31ra protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Member 25
  • TNFRSF25 protein, human
  • TNFSF15 protein, human
  • Tnfrsf25 protein, mouse
  • Tnfsf15 protein, mouse
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 15