Glutathione peroxidase-2 and selenium decreased inflammation and tumors in a mouse model of inflammation-associated carcinogenesis whereas sulforaphane effects differed with selenium supply

Susanne Krehl, Maria Loewinger, Simone Florian, Anna P Kipp, Antje Banning, Ludger A Wessjohann, Martin N Brauer, Renato Iori, Robert S Esworthy, Fong-Fong Chu, Regina Brigelius-Flohé
Carcinogenesis 2012, 33 (3): 620-8
Chronic inflammation and selenium deficiency are considered as risk factors for colon cancer. The protective effect of selenium might be mediated by specific selenoproteins, such as glutathione peroxidases (GPx). GPx-1 and -2 double knockout, but not single knockout mice, spontaneously develop ileocolitis and intestinal cancer. Since GPx2 is induced by the chemopreventive sulforaphane (SFN) via the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/Keap1 system, the susceptibility of GPx2-KO and wild-type (WT) mice to azoxymethane and dextran sulfate sodium (AOM/DSS)-induced colon carcinogenesis was tested under different selenium states and SFN applications. WT and GPx2-KO mice were grown on a selenium-poor, -adequate or -supranutritional diet. SFN application started either 1 week before (SFN4) or along with (SFN3) a single AOM application followed by DSS treatment for 1 week. Mice were assessed 3 weeks after AOM for colitis and Nrf2 target gene expression and after 12 weeks for tumorigenesis. NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductases, thioredoxin reductases and glutathione-S-transferases were upregulated in the ileum and/or colon by SFN, as was GPx2 in WT mice. Inflammation scores were more severe in GPx2-KO mice and highest in selenium-poor groups. Inflammation was enhanced by SFN4 in both genotypes under selenium restriction but decreased in selenium adequacy. Total tumor numbers were higher in GPx2-KO mice but diminished by increasing selenium in both genotypes. SFN3 reduced inflammation and tumor multiplicity in both Se-adequate genotypes. Tumor size was smaller in Se-poor GPx2-KO mice. It is concluded that GPx2, although supporting tumor growth, inhibits inflammation-mediated tumorigenesis, but the protective effect of selenium does not strictly depend on GPx2 expression. Similarly, SFN requires selenium but not GPx2 for being protective.

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