Treatment with a Urokinase Receptor-derived Cyclized Peptide Improves Experimental Colitis by Preventing Monocyte Recruitment and Macrophage Polarization

Vincenzo Ingangi, A. Piontini, Ali Munaim Yousif, Francesco Merlino, Paolo Grieco, Maria Vincenza Carriero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Leukocyte migration across the blood barrier and into tissues represents a key process in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases. The urokinase receptor (urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor) is a master regulator of leukocyte recruitment. We recently found that cyclization of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor-derived peptide Ser-Arg-Ser-Arg-Tyr [SRSRY] inhibits transendothelial migration of monocytes. Now, we have explored the effects of [SRSRY] administration during experimental colitis. Methods: The effects of [SRSRY] on cytokine profile, cytoskeletal organization, and cell migration were investigated using phorbol-12-myristate acetate-differentiated THP-1 cells exposed to polarizing stimuli. In vivo, [SRSRY] was intraperitoneally administered during dextran sodium sulfate- or 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid-induced colitis in wild-type or urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor knockout mice. Levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inflammatory monocytes in mucosal infiltrates were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and flow cytometry, respectively. Results: [SRSRY] prevents M0 to M1 transition and migration of M1 polarized macrophages. In vivo, [SRSRY] reduces intestinal inflammation diminishing body weight loss and disease activity index. These beneficial effects are accompanied by a reduction of interleukin 1β, interleukin 6, and tumor necrosis factor α, an increase of interleukin 10, and an abridged recruitment of inflammatory monocytes to the inflamed tissue. Conclusions: Altogether, these findings indicate that [SRSRY] may be considered as a new drug useful for the pharmacological treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2390-2401
Number of pages12
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 26 2016



  • experimental colitis
  • inflammatory bowel diseases
  • macrophages
  • monocytes
  • peptides
  • urokinase receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology

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