mTOR-Dependent Stimulation of IL20RA Orchestrates Immune Cell Trafficking through Lymphatic Endothelium in Patients with Crohn's Disease

Federica Ungaro, Valentina Garlatti, Luca Massimino, Antonino Spinelli, Michele Carvello, Matteo Sacchi, Salvatore Spanò, Gaia Colasante, Nicholas Valassina, Stefania Vetrano, Alberto Malesci, Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, Silvio Danese, Silvia D'Alessio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Crohn's disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory condition that can affect different portions of the gastrointestinal tract. Lymphatic drainage was demonstrated to be dysfunctional in CD pathogenesis, ultimately causing the failure of the resolution of intestinal inflammation. To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying these dysfunctions, we isolated human intestinal lymphatic endothelial cells (HILECs) from surgical specimens of patients undergoing resection for complicated CD (CD HILEC) and from a disease-free margin of surgical specimens of patients undergoing resection for cancer (healthy HILEC). Both cell types underwent transcriptomic profiling, and their barrier functionality was tested using a transwell-based co-culture system between HILEC and lamina propria mononuclear cells (LPMCs). Results showed CD HILEC displayed a peculiar transcriptomic signature that highlighted mTOR signaling as an orchestrator of leukocyte trafficking through the lymphatic barrier of CD patients. Moreover, we demonstrated that LPMC transmigration through the lymphatic endothelium of patients with CD depends on the capability of mTOR to trigger interleukin 20 receptor subunit α (IL20RA)-mediated intracellular signaling. Conclusively, our study suggests that leukocyte trafficking through the intestinal lymphatic microvasculature can be controlled by modulating IL20RA, thus leading to the resolution of chronic inflammation in patients with CD.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 18 2019


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