BCL3 Reduces the Sterile Inflammatory Response in Pancreatic and Biliary Tissues

Liang Song, Sonja Wörmann, Jiaoyu Ai, Patrick Neuhöfer, Marina Lesina, Kalliope N. Diakopoulos, Dietrich Ruess, Matthias Treiber, Heiko Witt, Florian Bassermann, Walter Halangk, Jörg M. Steiner, Irene Esposito, Jonas Rosendahl, Roland M. Schmid, Marc Riemann, Hana Algül

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background & Aims Under conditions of inflammation in the absence of micro-organisms (sterile inflammation), necrotic cells release damage-associated molecular patterns that bind to Toll-like receptors on immune cells to activate a signaling pathway that involves activation of IκB kinase and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). Little is known about the mechanisms that control NF-κB activity during sterile inflammation. We analyzed the contribution of B-cell CLL/lymphoma 3 (BCL3), a transcription factor that associates with NF-κB, in control of sterile inflammation in the pancreas and biliary system of mice. Methods Acute pancreatitis (AP) was induced in C57BL/6 (control) and Bcl3-/- mice by intraperitoneal injection of cerulein or pancreatic infusion of sodium taurocholate. We also studied Mdr2-/- mice, which develop spontaneous biliary inflammation, as well as Bcl3-/-Mdr2-/- mice. We performed immunohistochemical analyses of inflamed and noninflamed regions of pancreatic tissue from patients with AP or primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), as well as from mice. Immune cells were characterized by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis. Control or Bcl3-/- mice were irradiated, injected with bone marrow from Bcl3-/- or control mice, and AP was induced. Results Pancreatic or biliary tissues from patients with AP or PSC had higher levels of BCL3 and phosphorylated RelA and IκBα in inflamed vs noninflamed regions. Levels of BCL3 were higher in pancreata from control mice given cerulein than from mice without AP, and were higher in biliary tissues from Mdr2-/- mice than from control mice. Bcl3-/- mice developed more severe AP after administration of cerulein or sodium taurocholate than control mice; pancreata from the Bcl3-/- mice with AP had greater numbers of macrophages, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, dendritic cells, and granulocytes than control mice with AP. Activation of NF-κB was significantly prolonged in Bcl3-/- mice with AP, compared with control mice with AP. Bcl3-/-Mdr2-/- mice developed more severe cholestasis and had increased markers of liver injury and increased proliferation of biliary epithelial cells and hepatocytes than Mdr2-/- mice. In experiments with bone marrow chimeras, expression of BCL3 by acinar cells, but not myeloid cells, was required for reduction of inflammation during development of AP. BCL3 inhibited ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation of p50 homodimers, which prolonged binding of NF-κB heterodimers to DNA. Conclusions BCL3 is up-regulated in inflamed pancreatic or biliary tissues from mice and patients with AP or cholangitis. Its production appears to reduce the inflammatory response in these tissues via blocking ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation of p50 homodimers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-512.e20
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Cytokines
  • Immune Regulation
  • Mouse Model
  • TLR


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