Altered gut microbiota promotes colitis-associated cancer in IL-1 receptor-associated kinase M-deficient mice

Klara Klimesova, Miloslav Kverka, Zuzana Zakostelska, Tomas Hudcovic, Tomas Hrncir, Renata Stepankova, Pavel Rossmann, Jakub Ridl, Martin Kostovcik, Jakub Mrazek, Jan Kopecny, Koichi S Kobayashi, Helena Tlaskalova-Hogenova
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 2013, 19 (6): 1266-77

BACKGROUND: Microbial sensing by Toll-like receptors (TLR) and its negative regulation have an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammation-related cancer. In this study, we investigated the role of negative regulation of Toll-like receptors signaling and gut microbiota in the development of colitis-associated cancer in mouse model.

METHODS: Colitis-associated cancer was induced by azoxymethane and dextran sodium sulfate in wild-type and in interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase M (IRAK-M)-deficient mice with or without antibiotic (ATB) treatment. Local cytokine production was analyzed by multiplex cytokine assay or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and regulatory T cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. Changes in microbiota composition during tumorigenesis were analyzed by pyrosequencing, and β-glucuronidase activity was measured in intestinal content by fluorescence assay.

RESULTS: ATB treatment of wild-type mice reduced the incidence and severity of tumors. Compared with nontreated mice, ATB-treated mice had significantly lower numbers of regulatory T cells in colon, altered gut microbiota composition, and decreased β-glucuronidase activity. However, the β-glucuronidase activity was not as low as in germ-free mice. IRAK-M-deficient mice not only developed invasive tumors, but ATB-induced decrease in β-glucuronidase activity did not rescue them from severe carcinogenesis phenotype. Furthermore, IRAK-M-deficient mice had significantly increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the tumor tissue.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that gut microbiota promotes tumorigenesis by increasing the exposure of gut epithelium to carcinogens and that IRAK-M-negative regulation is essential for colon cancer resistance even in conditions of altered microbiota. Therefore, gut microbiota and its metabolic activity could be potential targets for colitis-associated cancer therapy.

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