Altered Gut Microbiota Promotes Colitis-Associated Cancer in IL-1 Receptor–Associated Kinase M–Deficient Mice Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

author list (cited authors)

  • Klimesova, K., Kverka, M., Zakostelska, Z., Hudcovic, T., Hrncir, T., Stepankova, R., ... Tlaskalova-Hogenova, H.

citation count

  • 69

publication date

  • May 2013