A myeloid–stromal niche and gp130 rescue in NOD2-driven Crohn’s disease

Shikha Nayar, Joshua K. Morrison, Mamta Giri, Kyle Gettler, Ling shiang Chuang, Laura A. Walker, Huaibin M. Ko, Ephraim Kenigsberg, Subra Kugathasan, Miriam Merad, Jaime Chu, Judy H. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory intestinal disease that is frequently accompanied by aberrant healing and stricturing complications. Crosstalk between activated myeloid and stromal cells is critical in the pathogenicity of Crohn’s disease1,2, and increases in intravasating monocytes are correlated with a lack of response to anti-TNF treatment3. The risk alleles with the highest effect on Crohn’s disease are loss-of-function mutations in NOD24,5, which increase the risk of stricturing6. However, the mechanisms that underlie pathogenicity driven by NOD2 mutations and the pathways that might rescue a lack of response to anti-TNF treatment remain largely uncharacterized. Here we use direct ex vivo analyses of patients who carry risk alleles of NOD2 to show that loss of NOD2 leads to dysregulated homeostasis of activated fibroblasts and macrophages. CD14+ peripheral blood mononuclear cells from carriers of NOD2 risk alleles produce cells that express high levels of collagen, and elevation of conserved signatures is observed in nod2-deficient zebrafish models of intestinal injury. The enrichment of STAT3 regulation and gp130 ligands in activated fibroblasts and macrophages suggested that gp130 blockade might rescue the activated program in NOD2-deficient cells. We show that post-treatment induction of the STAT3 pathway is correlated with a lack of response to anti-TNF treatment in patients, and demonstrate in vivo in zebrafish the amelioration of the activated myeloid–stromal niche using the specific gp130 inhibitor bazedoxifene. Our results provide insights into NOD2-driven fibrosis in Crohn’s disease, and suggest that gp130 blockade may benefit some patients with Crohn’s disease—potentially as a complement to anti-TNF therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-281
Number of pages7
Issue number7858
StatePublished - 13 May 2021


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