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Title: The role of NLRs in induction and resolution of intestinal inflammation
Author: Song-Zhao, George Xiaoxi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 0496
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Innate immune activation is thought to play a central role in IBD pathogenesis because genetic polymorphisms in NOD2 and NLRP3, cytosolic innate immune receptors belonging to the NLR family, have been associated with IBD susceptibility. However, the mechanisms through which NLR mutations predispose to IBD remain unclear. The aim of this project was to dissect the functional roles of different NLRs in intestinal inflammation. Using the well-established DSS-induced colitis model as well as experimental models of IBD based on infection with Helicobacter hepaticus, we found that Nod2 expression was significantly increased at the peak of intestinal inflammation, and remained elevated throughout the resolution process. This observation suggests a possible role for Nod2 in the resolution of inflammation. Conversely, upon infection with the acute intestinal pathogen Citrobacter rodentium, Nlrp3-/- mice suffered from increased bacterial colonization as early as 3 days post infection, resulting in exacerbated intestinal inflammation and severe weight loss. Analysis of irradiation bone marrow chimeras showed that the protection required Nlrp3 activation in the non-haematopoietic compartment. Furthermore, this protective mechanism was independent of the inflammasome-associated cytokines IL-1β or IL-18. Therefore, this study implicates Nlrp3 activation in intestinal tissue cells as having a crucial role in controlling pathogenic bacterial colonization, providing a potential mechanism by which NLRP3 polymorphisms could lead to increased susceptibility to IBD.
Supervisor: Maloy, Kevin Joseph Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Immunochemistry ; Biology ; Microbiology ; Disease (zoology) ; immunology ; Helicobacter ; Citrobacter ; intestinal infections ; inflammatory bowel diseases ; colitis