Image_3_Critical Role of Alternative M2 Skewing in miR-155 Deletion-Mediated Protection of Colitis.tif

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with dysregulation of both innate and adaptive immune response in the intestine. MicroRNA (miR)-155 is frequently expressed and functions in many immune cell types. Besides its function in adaptive immunity, miR-155 is a key regulator of the innate immune response in macrophages, dendritic cells, and even in epithelia cells. Although the roles of miR-155 within T and B lymphocytes in colitis have been reported, its function in innate immune cells has not been thoroughly examined. In this study, the dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis model was established in wild-type (WT) and miR-155−/− mice. Our results showed that miR-155 deficiency in macrophages recapitulated the alleviated colitis feature of miR-155−/− mice and appeared to skew toward the alterative M2 phenotype. Notably, the predominance of M2 in colon can result in dampened intestinal immune cell proliferation and inhibit CD4 T cell polarization toward Th1 and Th17. Moreover, C/EBPβ and SOCS1 were demonstrated as two key functional targets in this process. We also provided evidence for use of miR-155 inhibitor to treat colitis. Collectively, the findings highlight the central role of alternative M2 skewing for miR-155 function in colitis and reveal that macrophages might be a main target for therapeutics.