Neutrophils participate in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis (UC) through regulating the intestinal homeostasis. Several inflammatory diseases are reported to be regulated by proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2B (PTK2B). However, the role of PTK2B in regulating the function of neutrophils and the pathogenesis of UC remains unknown. In this study, the mRNA and protein levels of PTK2B in the colonic tissues from UC patients were measured by using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. TAE226, a PTK2B inhibitor, was used to inhibit the activity of PTK2B in neutrophils, and then, the pro-inflammatory factors were analyzed by using qRT-PCR and ELISA. To determine the role of PTK2B in intestinal inflammation, a dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis model was established in PTK2B gene knockout (PTK2B KO) and wild-type (WT) mice. We found that compared with healthy donor controls, the expression level of PTK2B was significantly elevated in inflamed mucosa from UC patients. In addition, expression of PTK2B was positively correlated with the severity of disease. Pharmacological inhibition of PTK2B could markedly reduce the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), myeloperoxidase (MPO), and antimicrobial peptides (S100a8 and S100a9) in neutrophils. The vitro study showed that tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is involved in promoting the expression of PTK2B in neutrophils. As expected, UC patients treated with infliximab, an anti-TNF-α agent, showed significantly reduced level of PTK2B in neutrophils, as well as in the intestinal mucosa. Of note, compared with DSS-treated WT mice, DSS-treated PTK2B KO mice showed more severe colitis symptoms. Mechanistically, PTK2B could enhance neutrophil migration by regulating CXCR2 and GRK2 expression via the p38 MAPK pathway. Additionally, mice treated with TAE226 exhibited the same effects. In conclusion, PTK2B is involved in the pathogenesis of UC by promoting the migration of neutrophils and inhibiting mucosal inflammation, highlighting PTK2B as a new potential therapeutic target to treat UC.
- mucosal inflammation