Background & Aims: Intestinal epithelial cells can produce cytokines and chemokines that play an important role in the mucosal immune response. Regulation of this secretion is important to prevent inflammatory tissue damage. Disaccharides derived from heparan sulfate and heparin have been shown to down-regulate inflammation in vivo. We tested the effect of such disaccharides on cytokine secretion by intestinal epithelial cells. Methods: Spontaneous and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-stimulated interleukin (IL)-8 and IL-1β secretion and mRNA expression were assessed in HT-29 and Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cell lines in the presence of a panel of heparin and heparan sulfate disaccharides. Results: Specific disaccharides suppressed spontaneous and TNF-α-induced mediator secretion in a dose-dependent manner. Disaccharide activity was structurally restricted. Preincubation of cells with nonsuppressing disaccharides blocked the activity of suppressing disaccharides. The number of sulfate moieties determined the ability of nonsuppressing disaccharides to block the effect of suppressive disaccharides. No suppression of mRNA expression was noted, and intracellular mediator levels were not reduced. Conclusions: Disaccharides derived from heparin and heparan sulfate regulate proinflammatory mediator secretion from intestinal epithelial cells. Dose dependence and competition by structurally diverging disaccharides suggest a receptor-mediated mechanism. Unchanged mRNA and intracellular mediator levels suggest that the disaccharides act at posttranscriptional stages.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported in part by Peptor Ltd. Nes-Ziona, Israel.
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