The function of interleukin-22 (IL-22) in intestinal barrier homeostasis remains controversial. Here, we map the transcriptional landscape regulated by IL-22 in human colonic epithelial organoids and evaluate the biological, functional and clinical significance of the IL-22 mediated pathways in ulcerative colitis (UC). We show that IL-22 regulated pro-inflammatory pathways are involved in microbial recognition, cancer and immune cell chemotaxis; most prominently those involving CXCR2+ neutrophils. IL-22-mediated transcriptional regulation of CXC-family neutrophil-active chemokine expression is highly conserved across species, is dependent on STAT3 signaling, and is functionally and pathologically important in the recruitment of CXCR2+ neutrophils into colonic tissue. In UC patients, the magnitude of enrichment of the IL-22 regulated transcripts in colonic biopsies correlates with colonic neutrophil infiltration and is enriched in non-responders to ustekinumab therapy. Our data provide further insights into the biology of IL-22 in human disease and highlight its function in the regulation of pathogenic immune pathways, including neutrophil chemotaxis. The transcriptional networks regulated by IL-22 are functionally and clinically important in UC, impacting patient trajectories and responsiveness to biological intervention.
- Chemokines, CXC/metabolism
- Colitis, Ulcerative/drug therapy
- Neutrophil Infiltration
- Receptors, Interleukin-8B/metabolism