Inflammation-associated serum and colon markers as indicators of dietary attenuation of colon carcinogenesis in ob/ob mice

Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2009 Jan;2(1):60-9. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0086.


Although inflammatory cytokines and obesity-associated serum proteins have been reported as biomarkers of colorectal adenoma risk in humans, little is known of biomarkers of response to interventions that attenuate tumorigenesis. Dietary navy beans and their fractions attenuate colon carcinogenesis in carcinogen-induced genetically obese mice. We hypothesized that this attenuation would be associated with changes in inflammatory cytokines and obesity-related serum proteins that may serve as measures of efficacy. ob/ob mice (n = 160) were injected with the carcinogen azoxymethane (AOM) to induce colon cancer and randomly placed on one of four diets (control, whole navy bean, bean residue fraction, or bean extract fraction) for 26 to 28 wk. Serum was analyzed for 14 inflammation- or obesity-related proteins, and colon RNA was analyzed for expression of 84 inflammation-associated genes. Six of 14 serum proteins were increased [i.e., interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IFN gamma, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor] in hyperplastic/dysplastic stages of colon carcinogenesis. Bean-fed mice had significantly higher monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and lower IL-6 levels in serum. In colon mucosa, 55 of 84 inflammation-associated genes differed between AOM-induced and noninduced mice. Of the 55 AOM-induced genes, 5 were counteracted by bean diets, including IL-6 whose increase in expression levels was attenuated by bean diets in AOM-induced mice. In summary, IL-6 emerged as a serum protein that was increased in hyperplastic/dysplastic stages of colon carcinogenesis, but attenuated with bean-based diet in serum and colon mucosa. Changes in a subset of inflammation-associated serum proteins and colon gene expression may serve as response indicators of dietary attenuation of colon carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Azoxymethane / toxicity
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Carcinogens / toxicity
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diet therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Fabaceae / chemistry
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Obese
  • Obesity / complications
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Precancerous Conditions / diet therapy
  • Precancerous Conditions / genetics
  • Precancerous Conditions / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Carcinogens
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Plant Extracts
  • Azoxymethane