Acute colitis chronically alters immune infiltration mechanisms and sensory neuro-immune interactions

Melissa A. Campaniello, Chris Mavrangelos, Samuel Eade, Andrea M. Harrington, L. Ashley Blackshaw, Stuart M. Brierley, Scott D. Smid, Patrick A. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Little is understood regarding how disease progression alters immune and sensory nerve function in colitis. We investigated how acute colitis chronically alters immune recruitment and the impact this has on re-activated colitis. To understand the impact of disease progress on sensory systems we investigated the mechanisms underlying altered colonic neuro-immune interactions after acute colitis. Design Inflammation was compared in mouse models of health, acute tri-nitrobenzene sulphonic acid (TNBS) colitis, Remission and Reactivated colitis. Cytokine concentrations were compared by ELISA in-situ and in explanted colon tissue. Colonic infiltration by CD11b/F4-80 macrophage, CD4 THELPER (TH) and CD8 TCYTOTOXIC (TC) and α4β7 expression on mesenteric lymph node (MLN) TH and TC was determined by flow cytometry. Cytokine and effector receptor mRNA expression was determined on colo-rectal afferent neurons and the mechanisms underlying cytokinergic effects on high-threshold colo-rectal afferent function were investigated using electrophysiology. Results Colonic damage, MPO activity, macrophage infiltration, IL-1β and IL-6 concentrations were lower in Reactivated compared to Acute colitis. TH infiltration and α4β7 expression on TH MLN was increased in Remission but not Acute colitis. IFN-γ concentrations, TH infiltration and α4β7 expression on TH and TC MLN increased in Reactivated compared to Acute colitis. Reactivated explants secreted more IL-1β and IL-6 than Acute explants. IL-6 and TNF-α inhibited colo-rectal afferent mechanosensitivity in Remission mice via a BKCa dependent mechanism. Conclusions Acute colitis persistently alters immune responses and afferent nerve signalling pathways to successive episodes of colitis. These findings highlight the complexity of viscero-sensory neuro-immune interactions in painful remitting and relapsing diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-332
Number of pages14
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Feb 2017


  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Neural-immune interactions
  • TNBS-induced colitis
  • Visceral nociception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this