Molecular Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 924–936 | Cite as

Cryopreserved Interleukin-4-Treated Macrophages Attenuate Murine Colitis in an Integrin β7-Dependent Manner

  • Gabriella Leung
  • Björn Petri
  • José Luis Reyes
  • Arthur Wang
  • Jordan Iannuzzi
  • Derek M. McKay
Research Article


The adoptive transfer of alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs) has proven to attenuate inflammation in multiple mouse models of colitis; however, the effect of cryopreservation on AAMs, the ability of previously frozen AAMs to block dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (DNBS) (Th1) and oxazolone (Th2) colitis and their migration postinjection remains unknown. Here we have found that while cryopreservation reduced mRNA expression of canonical markers of interleukin (IL)-4-treated macrophages [M(IL-4)], this step did not translate to reduced protein or activity, and the cells retained their capacity to drive the suppression of colitis. The anticolitic effect of M(IL-4) adoptive transfer required neither T or B cell nor peritoneal macrophages in the recipient. After injection into the peritoneal cavity, M(IL-4)s migrated to the spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes and colon of DNBS-treated mice. The chemokines CCL2, CCL4 and CX3CL1 were expressed in the colon during the course of DNBS-induced colitis. The expression of integrin β7 on transferred M(IL-4)s was required for their anticolitic effect, whereas the presence of the chemokine receptors CCR2 and CX3CR1 were dispensable in this model. Collectively, the data show that M(IL-4)s can be cryopreserved M(IL-4)s and subsequently used to suppress colitis in an integrin β7-dependent manner, and we suggest that these proof-of-concept studies may lead to new cellular therapies for human inflammatory bowel disease.



The authors would like to thank Michael Dicay and Evelyn Lailey for their phlebotomy assistance. This work was supported by the Mouse Phenomics Resources Laboratory and Live Cell Imaging Facility, both of which were funded by the Snyder Institute at the University of Calgary. This research is funded by the following: Crohn’s and Colitis Canada operating grant (to DM McKay), Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (AIHS) Scientist Award (to DM McKay), Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Intestinal Immunophysiology Award (DM McKay), AIHS Fellowship (to JL Reyes), an AIHS Summer Studentship (to J Iannuzzi) and an AIHS Doctoral Studentship (to G Leung).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material, approximately 3.78 MB.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriella Leung
    • 1
  • Björn Petri
    • 2
  • José Luis Reyes
    • 1
  • Arthur Wang
    • 1
  • Jordan Iannuzzi
    • 1
  • Derek M. McKay
    • 1
  1. 1.Gastrointestinal Research Group, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, HSC 1877, Snyder Institute for Chronic DiseasesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Mouse Phenomics Resource Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, Cumming School of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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