Image_1_Stigmasterol Restores the Balance of Treg/Th17 Cells by Activating the Butyrate-PPARγ Axis in Colitis.tif (369.73 kB)
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posted on 06.10.2021, 04:29 by Shuting Wen, Long He, Zhuotai Zhong, Runyuan Zhao, Senhui Weng, Hong Mi, Fengbin Liu

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory disorder with gut microbiota disequilibrium and regulatory T (Treg)/T helper 17 (Th17) immune imbalance. Stigmasterol, a plant-derived sterol, has shown anti-inflammatory effects. Our study aimed to identify the effects of stigmasterol on experimental colitis and the related mechanisms. Stigmasterol treatment restored the Treg/Th17 balance and altered the gut microbiota in a dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis model. Transplantation of the faecal microbiota of stigmasterol-treated mice significantly alleviated inflammation. Additionally, stigmasterol treatment enhanced the production of gut microbiota-derived short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), particularly butyrate. Next, human naïve CD4+ T cells sorted from IBD patients were cultured under Treg- or Th17-polarizing conditions; butyrate supplementation increased the differentiation of Tregs and decreased Th17 cell differentiation. Mechanistically, butyrate activated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and reprogrammed energy metabolism, thereby promoting Treg differentiation and inhibiting Th17 differentiation. Our results demonstrate that butyrate-mediated PPARγ activation restores the balance of Treg/Th17 cells, and this may be a possible mechanism, by which stigmasterol attenuates IBD.

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