High-fat Western diet-induced obesity contributes to increased tumor growth in mouse models of human colon cancer.
Nutr Res. 2016 Dec ;36(12):1325-1334. Epub 2016 Oct 20. PMID: 27866828
Ann Marie O'Neill
Strong epidemiologic evidence links colon cancer to obesity. The increasing worldwide incidence of colon cancer has been linked to the spread of the Western lifestyle, and in particular consumption of a high-fat Western diet. In this study, our objectives were to establish mouse models to examine the effects of high-fat Western diet-induced obesity on the growth of human colon cancer tumor xenografts, and to examine potential mechanisms driving obesity-linked human colon cancer tumor growth. We hypothesize that mice rendered insulin resistant due to consumption of a high-fat Western diet will show increased and accelerated tumor growth. Homozygous Rag1mice were fed either a low-fat Western diet or a high-fat Western diet (HFWD), then human colon cancer xenografts were implanted subcutaneously or orthotopically. Tumors were analyzed to detect changes in receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated signaling and expression of inflammatory-associated genes in epididymal white adipose tissue. In both models, mice fed an HFWD weighed more and had increased intra-abdominal fat, and tumor weight was greater compared with in the low-fat Western diet-fed mice. They also displayed significantly higher levels of leptin; however, there was a negative correlation between leptin levels and tumor size. In the orthotopic model, tumors and adipose tissue from the HFWD group displayed significant increases in both c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 expression, respectively. In conclusion, this study suggests that human colon cancer growth is accelerated in animals that are obese and insulin resistant due to the consumption of an HFWD.