Interleukin 1 beta and Matrix Metallopeptidase 3 Contribute to Development of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor–Dependent Serrated Polyps in Mouse Cecum

Zhengxiang He, Lili Chen, Grace Chen, Paola Smaldini, Gerold Bongers, Jovani Catalan-Dibene, Glaucia C. Furtado, Sergio A. Lira

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Background & Aims: Transgenic mice (HBUS) that express the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligand HBEGF (heparin-binding epidermal growth factor–like growth factor) and a constitutively active G protein–coupled receptor (US28) in intestinal epithelial cells develop serrated polyps in the cecum. Development of serrated polyps depends on the composition of the gut microbiota and is associated with bacterial invasion of the lamina propria, accompanied by induction of inflammation and up-regulation of interleukin 1 beta (IL1B) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 3 in the cecum. We investigated the mechanisms by which these changes contribute to development of serrated polyps. Methods: We performed studies with C57BL/6 (control) and HBUS mice. To accelerate polyp development, we increased the exposure of the bacteria to the lamina propria by injecting HBUS mice with diphtheria toxin, which binds transgenic HBEGF expressed by the epithelial cells and causes apoptosis. Mice were given injections of IL1B-neutralizing antibody and the MMP inhibitor N-isobutyl-N-(4-methoxyphenylsulfonyl)glycyl hydroxamic acid. Intestinal tissues were collected from mice and analyzed by histology, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunofluorescence, and flow cytometry. We examined fibroblast subsets in polyps using single-cell RNA sequencing. Results: Administration of diphtheria toxin to HBUS mice accelerated development of serrated polyps (95% of treated mice developed polyps before 100 days of age, compared with 53% given vehicle). IL1B stimulated subsets of platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha+ (PDGRFA+) fibroblasts isolated from cecum, resulting in increased expression of MMP3. Neutralizing antibodies against IL1B or administration of the MMP inhibitor reduced the number of serrated polyps that formed in the HBUS mice. Single-cell RNA sequencing analysis showed subsets of fibroblasts in serrated polyps that express genes that regulate matrix fibroblasts and inflammation. Conclusions: In studies of mice, we found that barrier breakdown and expression of inflammatory factors contribute to development of serrated polyps. Subsets of cecal PDGFRA+ fibroblasts are activated by release of IL1B from myeloid cells during the early stages of serrated polyp development. MMP3 produced by PDGFRA+ fibroblasts is important for serrated polyp development. Our findings confirm the functions of previously identified serrated polyp–associated molecules and indicate roles for immune and stromal cells in serrated polyp development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1572-1583.e8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Barrier Breakdown
  • Cytokine
  • Neoplasm
  • Stroma


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