Role of NK1.1+ and AsGm-1+ cells in oral immunoregulation of experimental colitis

Shivti Trop, Arnon Nagler, Yaron Ilan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


NK1.1 and AsGm-1 expressing cells play a role in immunomodulation. Our purpose was to determine the role of NK1.1+ and AsGm-1+ expressing cells in the inflammatory/tolerance paradigm in experimental colitis. Oral tolerance towards colitis-extracted proteins had previously been shown to alleviate experimental colitis. Colitis was induced in C57/B6 mice by intracolonic instillation of trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS). Oral tolerance was induced via five oral doses of proteins extracted from TNBS-colitis colonic wall. Clinical, macroscopic, and microscopic scores were used for colitis assessment. To evaluate the putative role of AsGm-1 in tolerance induction, depletion of AsGm-1 expressing cells was performed. To evaluate the mechanism of tolerance induction, liver-associated NKT lymphocytes were harvested 14 days following tolerance induction, and cultured with concanavalin A (con A) and colitis-extracted proteins. T cell subsets were measured by flow cytometry. Cytokine expression was measured by intracellular staining and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Orally tolerized mice exhibited significant alleviation of the clinical, macroscopic, and microscopic parameters of colitis, with increased CD4+IL4+/CD44+IFNγ+ lymphocyte ratio, increased IL-4, and decreased IFN-γ and IL-12 serum levels. In contrast, orally fed mice that were AsGm-1 depleted showed evidence of severe colitis. These mice exhibited significant decreased CD4+IL4+/CD4+IFNγ+ ratios, and an increase in IFNγ and IL-12, with decreased IL-4 levels. NKT cells harvested from tolerized mice secreted high levels of antiinflammatory cytokines. In contrast, in nontolerized mice, NKT cells mainly secreted proinflammatory cytokines. In a tolerized environment, both NK1.1 and AsGm-1 expressing cells are essential for disease alleviation. In contrast, in a non-tolerized environment, AsGm-1 expressing cells support an antiinflammatory immune paradigm, while NKT lymphocytes support a proinflammatory shift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-86
Number of pages12
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • AsGm-1
  • Experimental colitis
  • NK1.1 T cells
  • Oral tolerance


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