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Title: Investigating the role of IgG and Fcγ receptors in intestinal inflammation
Author: Castro Dopico, Tomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 6533
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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IgA is the dominant antibody isotype found at mucosal surfaces during homeostasis. However, genetic variation in Fcγ receptors (FcγRs), a family of receptors that mediate immune cell activation by IgG, influences susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), suggesting that IgG may be important during gut inflammation. IBD is a chronic relapsing condition with two major subtypes, Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), both driven by aberrant immune responses to commensals. In the first part of this thesis, we sought to investigate anti-commensal IgG responses in patients with UC and to determine the mechanism by which local IgG might contribute to intestinal inflammation. We found that UC and murine dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis are associated with a significant increase in anti-commensal IgG and local enrichment of FcγR signalling pathway genes. The genes most robustly correlated with FCGR2A, an activating FcγR associated with UC susceptibility, were IL1B andCXCL8. Ex vivo stimulation of human and murine lamina propria mononuclear cells with IgG immune complexes (IC) resulted in an increase in these cytokines/chemokines. In vivo manipulation of the macrophage FcγR A/I ratio in transgenic mice determined IL-1β and Th17 cell induction. Finally, IL-1β blockade in mice with a high FcγR A/I ratio reduced IL-17 and IL-22-producing T cells and the severity of colitis. Our data reveal that commensal-specific IgG contributes to intestinal inflammation via FcγR-dependent, IL-1β-mediated Th17 activation. In this thesis, we have also addressed the interplay between IgG and group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s). ILC3s are closely related to natural killer cells, which are known to express FcγRs, and are characterised by their production of Th17 cytokines. Here, we have shown that ILC3s express FcγRs, that ICs drive IL-22 production and MHC class II expression by ILC3s, and FcγR signalling induces a transcriptional programme that reinforces ILC3 maintenance and functionality. These results represent a new paradigm for ILC activation, with direct regulation by the adaptive immune response. Finally, we have begun to address the role played by ILC3-derived cytokines in the regulation of local tissue-resident immune cells. We have demonstrated that ILC depletion significantly alters the activation state of intestinal macrophages, resulting in detrimental bacterial outgrowth following C. rodentium infection but protection from overwhelming DSS-induced inflammation. We have shown that GM-CSF promotes macrophage IL-1β and IL-23 production, which in turn act to reinforce ILC3-derived GM-CSF and IL-22 secretion in vitro, respectively. Therefore, ILC3s are essential coordinators of the local inflammatory response within the gut through activation and possible recruitment of immune cells, and their modulation may be beneficial in the treatment of IBD.
Supervisor: Clatworthy, Menna Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Inflammatory bowel disease ; IgG ; Fc? receptors ; Innate lymphoid cells ; IL-1ß ; Intestinal macrophages