Myeloid ATG16L1 Facilitates Host-Bacteria Interactions in Maintaining Intestinal Homeostasis


Intact ATG16L1 plays an essential role in Paneth cell function and intestinal homeostasis. However, the functional consequences of ATG16L1 deficiency in myeloid cells, particularly macrophages, are not fully characterized. We generated mice with Atg16l1 deficiency in myeloid and dendritic cells and showed that mice with myeloid Atg16l1 deficiency had exacerbated colitis in two acute and one chronic model of colitis with increased proinflammatory to anti-inflammatory macrophage ratios, production of proinflammatory cytokines, and numbers of IgA-coated intestinal microbes. Mechanistic analyses using primary murine macrophages showed that Atg16l1 deficiency led to increased reactive oxygen species production, impaired mitophagy, reduced microbial killing, impaired processing of MHC class II Ags, and altered intracellular trafficking to the lysosomal compartments. Increased production of reactive oxygen species and reduced microbial killing may be general features of the myeloid compartment, as they were also observed in Atg16l1-deficient primary murine neutrophils. A missense polymorphism (Thr300Ala) in the essential autophagy gene ATG16L1 is associated with Crohn disease (CD). Previous studies showed that this polymorphism leads to enhanced cleavage of ATG16L1 T300A protein and thus reduced autophagy. Similar findings were shown in primary human macrophages from controls and a population of CD patients carrying the Atg16l1 T300A risk variant and who were controlled for NOD2 CD-associated variants. This study revealed that ATG16L1 deficiency led to alterations in macrophage function that contribute to the severity of CD.

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md.: 1950)