Transcriptional and Cytotoxic Responses of Human Intestinal Organoids to IFN Types I, II, and III

David A. Constant, Jacob A. Van Winkle, Eden VanderHoek, Simone E. Dekker, M. Anthony Sofia, Emilie Regner, Nir Modiano, V. Liana Tsikitis, Timothy J. Nice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The three types of IFN have roles in antimicrobial immunity and inflammation that must be properly balanced to maintain tissue homeostasis. For example, IFNs are elevated in the context of inflammatory bowel disease and may synergize with inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-a to promote tissue damage. Prior studies suggest that in mouse intestinal epithelial cells (IECs), type III IFNs are preferentially produced during viral infections and are less cytotoxic than type I IFN. In this study, we generated human IEC organoid lines from biopsies of ileum, ascending colon, and sigmoid colon of three healthy subjects to establish the baseline responses of normal human IECs to types I, II, and III IFN. We found that all IFN types elicited responses that were qualitatively consistent across intestinal biopsy sites. However, IFN types differed in magnitude of STAT1 phosphorylation and identity of genes in their downstream transcriptional programs. Specifically, there was a core transcriptional module shared by IFN types, but types I and II IFN stimulated unique transcriptional modules beyond this core gene signature. The transcriptional modules of type I and II IFN included proapoptotic genes, and expression of these genes correlated with potentiation of TNF-a cytotoxicity. These data define the response profiles of healthy human IEC organoids across IFN types, and they suggest that cytotoxic effects mediated by TNF-a in inflamed tissues may be amplified by a simultaneous high-magnitude IFN response. ImmunoHorizons, 2022, 6: 416–429.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-429
Number of pages14
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Transcriptional and Cytotoxic Responses of Human Intestinal Organoids to IFN Types I, II, and III'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this