Early stages of experimental colon carcinogenesis inhibit mast cell-dependent mucosal immune function of the distal colon

Russell Ray Broaddus, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Inhibition of local host immune reactions is one mechanism contributing to tumor progression. To determine if alterations in local immune functioning occur during colon carcinogenesis, a model mucosal immune response, type I hypersensitivity against the intestinal parasite Trichinella spiralis, was first characterized in normal mice and then examined during experimental colon carcinogenesis. Segments of sensitized colon mounted in Ussing chambers and challenged with T. spiralis-derived antigen resulted in a rise in short-circuit current ($\rm\Delta I\sb{sc}$) that was antigen-specific and inhibited by furosemide, implicating epithelial Cl$\sp-$ secretion as the ionic mechanism. The immune-regulated Cl$\sp-$ secretion by colonic epithelial cells required the presence of mast cells with surface IgE. Inhibition of potential anaphylactic mediators with various pharmacological agents in vitro implicated prostaglandins and leukotrienes as the principal mediators of the antigen-induced $\rm\Delta I\sb{sc}$, with 5-hydroxytryptamine also playing a role. Distal colon from immune mice fed an aspirin-containing diet (800 mg/kg powdered diet) ad libitum for 6 wk had a decreased response to antigen, confirming the major role of prostaglandins in generating the colonic I$\sb{\rm sc}$. To determine the effects of early stages of colon carcinogenesis on this mucosal immune response, mice were immunized with T. spiralis 1 day after or 8 wk prior to the first of 6 weekly injections of the procarcinogen 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH). Responsiveness to antigenic challenge was suppressed in the distal colon 4-6 wk after the final injection of DMH. One injection of DMH was not sufficient to inhibit antigen responsiveness. The colonic epithelium remained sensitive to direct stimulation by exogenous Cl$\sp-$ secretagogues. Decreased antigen-induced $\rm\Delta I\sb{sc}$ in the distal colon was not due to systemic immune suppression by DMH, as the proximal colon and jejunum maintained responsiveness to antigen. Also, rejection of a secondary T. spiralis infection from the small intestine was not altered. Tumors eventually developed 25-30 wk after the final injection of DMH only in the distal portions of the colon. These results suggest that early stages of DMH-induced colon carcinogenesis manipulate the microenvironment such that mucosal immune function, as measured by immune-regulated Cl$\sp-$ secretion, is suppressed in the distal colon, but not in other regions of the gut. Future elucidation of the mechanisms by which this localized inhibition of immune-mediated ion transport occurs may provide possible clues to the microenvironmental changes necessary for tumor progression in the distal colon.

Subject Area

Anatomy & physiology|Animals|Immunology|Pathology

Recommended Citation

Broaddus, Russell Ray, "Early stages of experimental colon carcinogenesis inhibit mast cell-dependent mucosal immune function of the distal colon" (1994). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9427468.