Sestrin3 enhances macrophage-mediated generation of T helper 1 and T helper 17 cells in a mouse colitis model

Liuqing Ge, Min Xu, Steven R. Brant, Shaoping Liu, Chengliang Zhu, Jian Shang, Qiu Zhao, Feng Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Intestinal macrophages participate in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) through secreting pro-inflammatory and tissue-damaging factors as well as inducing the differentiation of T helper 1 (Th1) and T helper 17 (Th17) cells. Elucidating the regulatory mechanisms of intestinal macrophage activity in IBDs is important for developing new therapeutic approaches. In the current study, the expression of Sestrins in myeloid cells and lymphocytes in colonic lamina propria (LP) was evaluated in a murine acute colitis model. We found that Sestrin3 was significantly up-regulated in LP macrophages by the colonic LP microenvironment. In the in vitro experiments, lentivirus-mediated Sestrin3 knockdown significantly reduced the production of IL-12 and IL-23 in activated macrophages, in addition to decreasing the expression of classical pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α. Additionally, Sestrin3 knockdown impaired macrophage-mediated generation of Th1 and Th17 cells from CD4+ T cells, probably through up-regulating the phosphorylation of mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) in macrophages. In the in vivo experiments, adoptive transfer of Sestrin3-deficient macrophages alleviated the generation of Th1 and Th17 cells in the colonic LP and mesenteric lymph nodes. Furthermore, the adoptive transfer mitigated the severity of colitis, as demonstrated by lower production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and fewer tissue lesions in the colon. Our study suggests that Sestrin3 might be crucial for macrophage-mediated generation of pathogenic Th1 and Th17 cells in IBDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-432
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 10 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


  • inflammatory bowel diseases
  • interleukin 12
  • interleukin 23
  • lamina propria


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