Extraintestinal helminth infection reduces the development of colitis-associated tumorigenesis

Int J Biol Sci. 2014 Aug 24;10(9):948-56. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.9033. eCollection 2014.


Colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC) is one of the most common cancers and is closely related to chronic or deregulated inflammation. Helminthic infections can modulate inflammatory responses in some diseases, but their immunomodulatory role during cancer development remains completely unknown. We have analyzed the role of Taenia crassiceps-induced anti-inflammatory response in determining the outcome of CAC. We show that extraintestinal T. crassiceps infection in CAC mice inhibited colonic inflammatory responses and tumor formation and prevented goblet cell loss. There was also increased expression of IL-4 and alternatively activated macrophages markers in colonic tissue and negative immunomodulation of pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. In addition, T. crassiceps infection prevented the upregulation of β-catenin and CXCR2 expression observed in the CAC mice, which are both markers associated with CAC-tumorigenesis, and reduced the numbers of circulating and colonic CD11b(+)Ly6C(hi)CCR2(+) monocytes. Thus, immunomodulatory activities induced by helminth infections may have a role in the progression of CAC.

Keywords: Colitis-associated colorectal cancer; T. crassiceps.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / complications*
  • Colitis / metabolism
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Dextran Sulfate / toxicity
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Taenia
  • Taeniasis / metabolism*


  • Dextran Sulfate