Accumulating evidence indicates the crucial contribution of chronic inflammation to various types of carcinogenesis, including colon carcinoma associated with ulcerative colitis and asbestosis-induced malignant mesothelioma. Ulcerative colitis-associated colon carcinogenesis can be recapitulated in mice by azoxymethane administration followed by repetitive dextran sulfate sodium ingestion. In the course of this carcinogenesis process, the expression of a macrophage-tropic chemokine, CCL2, was enhanced together with intracolonic massive infiltration of macrophages, which were a major source of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, a crucial mediator of colon carcinogenesis. Mice deficient in CCL2-specific receptor, CCR2, exhibited less macrophage infiltration and lower tumor numbers with attenuated COX-2 expression. Moreover, CCL2 antagonists decreased intracolonic macrophage infiltration and COX-2 expression, attenuated neovascularization, and eventually reduced the numbers and size of colon tumors, even when given after multiple colon tumors have developed. These observations identify CCL2 as a crucial mediator of the initiation and progression of chronic colitis-associated colon carcinogenesis and suggest that targeting CCL2 may be useful in treating colon cancers, particularly those associated with chronic inflammation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research