Synergistic Action of Diclofenac with Endotoxin-Mediated Inflammation Exacerbates Intestinal Injury in Vitro
Intestinal homeostasis is tightly regulated by the orchestrated actions of a multitude of cell types, including enterocytes, goblet cells, and immune cells. Disruption of intestinal barrier function can increase susceptibility to pathogen invasion and destabilize commensal microbial-epithelial–immune interaction, manifesting in various intestinal and systemic pathologies. However, a quantitative understanding of how these cell types communicate and collectively contribute to tissue function in health and disease is lacking. Here, we utilized a human intestinal epithelial-dendritic cell model and multivariate analysis of secreted factors to investigate the cellular crosstalk in response to physiological and/or pathological cues (e.g., endotoxin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammation drug (NSAID)). Specifically, we demonstrated that treatment with diclofenac (DCF), an NSAID commonly used to treat inflammation associated with acute infection and other conditions, globally suppressed cytokine secretion when dosed in isolation. However, the disruption of barrier function induced by DCF allowed for luminal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) translocation and activation of resident immune cells that overrode the anti-inflammatory influence of DCF. DCF-facilitated inflammation in the presence of LPS was in part mediated by upregulation of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), an important regulator of innate immunity. However, while neutralization of MIF activity normalized inflammation, it did not lead to intestinal healing. Our data suggest that systems-wide suppression of inflammation alone is insufficient to achieve mucosal healing, especially in the presence of DCF, the target of which, the COX-prostaglandin pathway, is central to mucosal homeostasis. Indeed, DCF removal postinjury enabled partial recovery of intestinal epithelium functions, and this recovery phase was associated with upregulation of a subset of cytokines and chemokines, implicating their potential contribution to intestinal healing. The results highlight the utility of an intestinal model capturing immune function, coupled with multivariate analysis, in understanding molecular mechanisms governing response to microbial factors, supporting application in studying host–pathogen interactions.