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Cell Mol Immunol. 2016 Sep;13(5):688-99. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2016.16. Epub 2016 Apr 18.

Expression of the novel adipokine C1qTNF-related protein 4 (CTRP4) suppresses colitis and colitis-associated colorectal cancer in mice.

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Department of Immunology, Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology (Ministry of Health), School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China.
Department of Pathology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an important factor in the induction of colon cancer, but its mechanism is unclear. Colitis and colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC) models induced using both dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) and the azoxymethane/DSS protocol were established in wild-type (WT) and CTRP4 transgenic (CTRP4-tg) C57BL6/J mice. Body weight, stool consistency and the presence of blood in the stool were analyzed; tumor quantity, size and histological characteristics were analyzed during the development of CAC. The CTRP4-tg mice exhibited significantly reduced colitis and developed far fewer macroscopic tumors; these tumors were smaller in size, and a majority of the colon tumors in these mice were restricted to the superficial mucosa. Tumors of lower grades were observed in the CTRP4-tg mice. Interleukin-6 was markedly downregulated in the CTRP4-tg mice during CAC tumorigenesis. The phosphorylation of ERK, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and Akt in the colon and the proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells were decreased in the CTRP4-tg mice. The injection of recombinant CTRP4 protein significantly reduced the colitis symptoms of the WT mice. CTRP4 plays an important role in inflammation and inflammation-associated colon tumorigenesis, and our research may provide a novel method for the treatment of IBD and CAC.

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