Skip to main content

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) repressor limits expression of antimicrobial genes but not AHR-dependent genes in intestinal eosinophils.

Journal of leukocyte biology

Authors: Heike Weighardt, Michael Shapiro, Michelle Mayer, Irmgard Förster, Brigitta Stockinger, Nicola Laura Diny

Intestinal eosinophils express the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), an environmental sensor and ligand-activated transcription factor that responds to dietary or environmental ligands. AHR regulates tissue adaptation, survival, adhesion, and immune functions in intestinal eosinophils. The AHR repressor (AHRR) is itself induced by AHR and believed to limit AHR activity in a negative feedback loop. We analysed gene expression in intestinal eosinophils from WT and AHRR-KO mice and found that AHRR did not suppress most AHR-dependent genes. Instead, AHRR limited the expression of a distinct small set of genes involved in the innate immune response. These included S100 proteins, antimicrobial proteins and alpha-defensins. Using bone marrow-derived eosinophils we found that AHRR-KO eosinophils released more reactive oxygen species upon stimulation. This work shows that the paradigm of AHRR as a repressor of AHR transcriptional activity does not apply to intestinal eosinophils. Rather, AHRR limits the expression of innate immune response and antimicrobial genes, possibly to maintain an anti-inflammatory phenotype in eosinophils when exposed to microbial signals in the intestinal environment.

© The Author(s) 2024. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for Leukocyte Biology.

PMID: 38701199

Participating cluster members