Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 27;7:45232. doi: 10.1038/srep45232.

Sex-dependent effects on gut microbiota regulate hepatic carcinogenic outcomes.

Author information

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Diabetes Mellitus and Center for Translational Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai 200233, China.
University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, USA.
E-institute of Shanghai Municipal Education Committee, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China.
Key Laboratory of Liver and Kidney Diseases (Ministry of Education), Institute of Liver Diseases, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201204, China.
Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA.
Biomolecular Medicine, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom.


Emerging evidence points to a strong association between sex and gut microbiota, bile acids (BAs), and gastrointestinal cancers. Here, we investigated the mechanistic link between microbiota and hepatocellular carcinogenesis using a streptozotocin-high fat diet (STZ-HFD) induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis-hepatocellular carcinoma (NASH-HCC) murine model and compared results for both sexes. STZ-HFD feeding induced a much higher incidence of HCC in male mice with substantially increased intrahepatic retention of hydrophobic BAs and decreased hepatic expression of tumor-suppressive microRNAs. Metagenomic analysis showed differences in gut microbiota involved in BA metabolism between normal male and female mice, and such differences were amplified when mice of both sexes were exposed to STZ-HFD. Treating STZ-HFD male mice with 2% cholestyramine led to significant improvement of hepatic BA retention, tumor-suppressive microRNA expressions, microbial gut communities, and prevention of HCC. Additionally the sex-dependent differences in BA profiles in the murine model can be correlated to the differential BA profiles between men and women during the development of HCC. These results uncover distinct male and female profiles for gut microbiota, BAs, and microRNAs that may contribute to sex-based disparity in liver carcinogenesis, and suggest new possibilities for preventing and controlling human obesity-related gastrointestinal cancers that often exhibit sex differences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center