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Title: IRF5 directs colonic inflammation and control of mononuclear phagocyte adaptation to the tissue environment
Author: Corbin, Alastair Lawrence
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 758X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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Macrophages are leukocytes of the innate immune system that display great phenotypic plasticity to mediate diverse functions. The ontogeny of tissue resident macrophages has been debated in recent decades. It is now recognised that tissue macrophages can be replenished from embryonically-derived precursors, and/or monocyte intermediates in a tissue specific manner. Interferon Regulatory Factor 5 (IRF5) is a transcription factor that promotes a pro-inflammatory phenotype in macrophages in vitro and in vivo. Indeed, IRF5 contributes to the pathogenesis of experimental inflammatory arthritis, lupus, and obesity via recruitment and activation of effector cells. Research described here as part of this thesis, involves the profiling of the intestinal Mononuclear Phagocyte system to investigate the role of IRF5 in the development of monocyte-derived macrophages in the Colonic Lamina Propria (cLP) which are exclusively replenished by adult Ly6Chi monocytes. Using Mixed Bone Marrow Chimaeras (MBMCs) we showed that in shared environment Wild-Type (WT) cLP macrophages dominated IRF5-deficient (Irf5-/-) cLP macrophages in both steady state and inflammation. The development of in vitro bone marrow derived macrophages, and the reconstitution of the haematopoietic compartment in bone marrow of MBMCs were not significantly affected by IRF5 deficiency. IRF5 promoted the accumulation of WT monocytes in the cLP of MBMCs in a process possibly dependent on the CCL2/CCR2 axis. Furthermore, IRF5 expression committed Ly6Chi monocytes to a pro-inflammatory macrophage fate in the inflamed cLP, characterised by protein expression of the cytokines IL1β, and TNFα, and the expression of Ccl4 and Ccl8 transcripts, whilst loss of IRF5 favoured accumulation of CD11b+ IRF4-dependent Dendritic Cells. Of significance, IRF5 expression might have prevented further differentiation of inflammatory macrophages into tissue-resident macrophages, thus supporting an inflammatory state. Irf5-/- mice were protected from Helicobacter hepaticus + αIL10R colitis. Intriguingly, protection from colitis may also be conferred by the presence of Irf5-/- haematopoietic cells, evidenced by WT:Irf5-/- MBMCs . Modulation of IRF5 activity may therefore be a viable therapeutic strategy. RNA sequencing identified that C1q, Cd81, and Ccl8 were upregulated in WT macrophages from MBMC, which may prove therapeutic targets.
Supervisor: Powrie, Fiona ; Udalova, Irina Sponsor: Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mucosal Immunology ; Innate immunity ; Immunology ; Inflammatory Bowel Disease ; Single Cell RNA sequencing ; Medicine ; Macrophage ; IRF5 ; Lamina Propria ; Mononuclear Phagocyte