Adiponectin deficiency enhances colorectal carcinogenesis and liver tumor formation induced by azoxymethane in mice

World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Nov 14;14(42):6473-80. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.6473.


Aim: To investigate the causal relationship between hypoadiponectinemia and colorectal carcinogenesis in in vivo experimental model, and to determine the contribution of adiponectin deficiency to colorectal cancer development and proliferation.

Methods: We examined the influence of adiponectin deficiency on colorectal carcinogenesis induced by the administration of azoxymethane (AOM) (7.5 mg/kg, intraperitoneal injection once a week for 8 wk), by using adiponectin-knockout (KO) mice.

Results: At 53 wk after the first AOM treatment, KO mice developed larger and histologically more progressive colorectal tumors with greater frequency compared with wild-type (WT) mice, although the tumor incidence was not different between WT and KO mice. KO mice showed increased cell proliferation of colorectal tumor cells, which correlated with the expression levels of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the colorectal tumors. In addition, KO mice showed higher incidence and frequency of liver tumors after AOM treatment. Thirteen percent of WT mice developed liver tumors, and these WT mice had only a single tumor. In contrast, 50% of KO mice developed liver tumors, and 58% of these KO mice had multiple tumors.

Conclusion: Adiponectin deficiency enhances colorectal carcinogenesis and liver tumor formation induced by AOM in mice. This study strongly suggests that hypoadiponectinemia could be involved in the pathogenesis for colorectal cancer and liver tumor in human subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / deficiency
  • Adiponectin / genetics
  • Animals
  • Azoxymethane
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Up-Regulation


  • Adiponectin
  • Adipoq protein, mouse
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Ptgs2 protein, mouse
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Azoxymethane