Blockade of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α by YC-1 attenuates interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α-induced intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction

Hang Liu, Mu Li, Pei Wang, Fengjun Wang
Cytokine 2011, 56 (3): 581-8
Proinflammatory cytokines play vital roles in intestinal barrier function disruption. YC-1 has been reported to have potent anti-inflammatory properties, and to be a potential agent for sepsis treatment. Here, we investigated the protective effect of YC-1 against intestinal barrier dysfunction caused by interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). To assess the protective effect of YC-1 on intestinal barrier function, Caco-2 monolayers treated with simultaneous IFN-γ and TNF-α were used to measure transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and paracellular permeability. To determine the mechanisms involved in the protective action of YC-1, expression and distribution of tight junction proteins ZO-1 and occludin in Caco-2 monolayers challenged with simultaneous IFN-γ and TNF-α were analyzed by Western blot and immunofluorescence, respectively. Expressions of phosphorylated myosin light chain (MLC), MLC kinase (MLCK) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) were analyzed by Western blot in IFN-γ and TNF-α-treated Caco-2 monolayers. It was found that YC-1 attenuated barrier dysfunction caused by IFN-γ and TNF-α, and also prevented IFN-γ and TNF-α-induced morphological redistribution of tight junction proteins ZO-1 and occludin in Caco-2 monolayers. In addition, YC-1 suppressed IFN-γ and TNF-α-induced upregulation of MLC phosphorylation and MLCK protein expression. Furthermore, enhanced expression of HIF-1α in Caco-2 monolayers treated with IFN-γ and TNF-α was also suppressed by YC-1. It is suggested that YC-1, by downregulating MLCK expression, attenuates intestinal barrier dysfunction induced by IFN-γ and TNF-α, in which HIF-1α inhibition, at least in part, might by involved. YC-1 may be a potential agent for treatment of intestinal barrier disruption in inflammation.

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