Cancers, Vol. 13, Pages 5159: Inflammatory Mediators and Gut Microbial Toxins Drive Colon Tumorigenesis by IL-23 Dependent Mechanism
Cancers doi: 10.3390/cancers13205159
Katherine T. Morris
Courtney W. Houchen
Chinthalapally V. Rao
Obesity-associated chronic inflammation predisposes colon cancer risk development. Interleukin-23 (IL-23) is a potential inflammatory mediator linking obesity to chronic colonic inflammation, altered gut microbiome, and colon carcinogenesis. We aimed to elucidate the role of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and gut bacterial toxins in priming dendritic cells and macrophages for IL-23 secretion to promote colon tumor progression. To investigate the association of IL-23 with obesity and colon tumorigenesis, we utilized TCGA data set and colonic tumors from humans and preclinical models. To understand IL-23 production by inflammatory mediators and gut microbial toxins, we performed several in vitro mechanistic studies to mimic the tumor microenvironment. Colonic tumors were utilized to perform the ex vivo experiments. Our findings showed that IL-23 is elevated in obese individuals, colonic tumors and correlated with reduced disease-free survival. In vitro studies showed that IL-23 treatment increased the colon tumor cell self-renewal, migration, and invasion while disrupting epithelial barrier permeability. Co-culture experiments of educated dendritic cells/macrophages with colon cancer cells significantly increased the tumor aggression by increasing the secretory levels of IL-23, and these observations are further supported by ex vivo rat colonic tumor organotypic experiments. Our results demonstrate gut microbe toxins and eicosanoids facilitate IL-23 production, which plays an important role in obesity-associated colonic tumor progression. This newly identified nexus represents a potential target for the prevention and treatment of obesity-associated colon cancer.
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