Although excessive immune responses by Th17 cells, a helper T cell subset, are implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the mechanism by which its localization in an inflamed colon is regulated remains unclear. Chemokines and their receptors are involved in the pathogenesis of IBD, however, the relative significance of each receptor on Th17 cells remains unknown. We generated C-C motif chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) knockout (KO) and CCR6 KO mice in the syngeneic background using the CRISPR/Cas9 system and found that the phenotypes of experimental colitis worsened in both mutant mice. Surprisingly, the phenotype of colitis in CCR2/CCR6-double knockout (CCR2/6 DKO) mice was opposite to that of the single-deficient mice, with significantly milder experimental colitis (P<0.05). The same was true for the symptoms in CCR6 KO mice, but not in wild type mice treated with a CCR2 inhibitor, propagermanium. Colonic CCR2 CCR6 Th17 cells produced a potentially pathogenic cytokine GM-CSF whose levels in the gut were significantly reduced in CCR2/6 DKO mice (P<0.05). These results suggest that GM-CSF-producing CCR2 CCR6 Th17 cells are pathogenic and are attracted to the inflamed colon by either CCR2 or CCR6 gradient, which subsequently exacerbates experimental colitis in mice. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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