Our previous investigations demonstrated a rapid, massive apoptosis of colonocytes after butyrate deprivation. However, while in vitro apoptotic bodies and cells were sludged at the epithelial surface, in vivo they were phagocytosed by the resident macrophages. In the present study the guinea pig colon was perfused in vivo in the presence or absence of butyrate with the aim of identifying the cells involved in the removal of apoptotic material and the method of clearance. Morphological, immunohistochemical and DNA fragmentation analyses were applied. The results demonstrated massive apoptosis of colonocytes in the absence of butyrate. The resident macrophages were tightly clustered below the surface epithelium. Aided by cytoplasmatic projections they phagocytosed and transported apoptotic material from the epithelial intercellular spaces into their bodies. Apparently, the macrophages could not cope with the great amount of apoptotic material they had to eliminate: the recruitment of circulating monocytes occurred. This was revealed by the application of antibodies directed against MAC 387, CD68 (PG-M1), and S-100, which detected distinct monocyte/macrophage populations in the lamina propria. The recruited cells were phenotypically different from resident macrophages, their occurrence being typical in inflamed tissues. In conclusion, butyrate deprivation in vivo led to untimely death of colonocytes and triggered changes in the lamina propria indicative of an inflammatory response.
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Luciano, L., Groos, S., Busche, R. et al. Massive apoptosis of colonocytes induced by butyrate deprivation overloads resident macrophages and promotes the recruitment of circulating monocytes. Cell Tissue Res 309, 393–407 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00441-002-0593-0
- Proximal colon Short-chain fatty acids Macrophage subsets Immunohistochemistry Guinea pig