A Central Role for Lipocalin-2 in the Adaptation to Short-Bowel Syndrome Through Down-Regulation of IL22 in Mice

Ailan Zhang, Chhinder P. Sodhi, Menghan Wang, Darla R. Shores, William Fulton, Thomas Prindle, Serena Brosten, Elizabeth O'Hare, Alexander Lau, Hua Ding, Hongpeng Jia, Peng Lu, James R. White, Justin Hui, Cynthia L. Sears, David J. Hackam, Samuel M. Alaish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background & Aims: In short-bowel syndrome (SBS), inadequate intestinal adaptation is responsible for the majority of complications, including sepsis, liver failure, and death. In this study, we sought to further delineate the adaptive response to identify potential therapeutic targets. Methods: We performed a 75% small-bowel resection (SBR) or sham operation on C57Bl/6J wild-type (WT), lipocalin-2 (LCN2)-/-, and interleukin 22 (IL22)-/- mice. Exogenous IL22 was administered to SBR WT mice. Cecal fecal matter from SBR WT and SBR LCN2-/- mice were transplanted into germ-free mice. Intestinal permeability, inflammation, proliferation, and the microbiome were evaluated 1 week after surgery. CD4+IL22+ laminal propria lymphocytes were sorted by flow cytometry. Naïve T cells were polarized to T-helper cells with or without LCN2. Results: A 75% SBR in a mouse re-creates the increased intestinal permeability, enterocyte proliferation, and intestinal dysbiosis seen in SBS. LCN2 expression increases after 75% SBR, and this increase can be abrogated with broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment. LCN2-/- mice have less intestinal inflammation, increased IL22 expression, and greater adaptation as evidenced by less intestinal permeability, increased carbohydrate enzyme expression, less weight loss, and less dysbiosis after 75% SBR than WT mice. The proinflammatory and anti-adaptive effects of LCN2 can be transferred to germ-free mice via a fecal transplant. Administration of exogenous IL22 improves adaptation and restores the normal microbiome after 75% SBR in WT mice. Conclusions: LCN2 promotes inflammation and slows intestinal adaptation through changes in the microbiome and IL22 inhibition in a mouse SBS model. Strategies to reduce LCN2 may offer novel therapeutic approaches to enhance adaptation in SBS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-326
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Dysbiosis
  • Fecal Transplant
  • Microbiome
  • Small-Bowel Resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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