Intestinal tumorigenesis in the ApcMin/+ model is initiated by aberrant activation of Wnt pathway. Increased IL-4 expression in human colorectal cancer tissue and growth of colon cancer cell lines implied that IL-4–induced Stat6-mediated tumorigenic signaling likely contributes to intestinal tumor progression in ApcMin/+ mice. Stat6 also appears to promote expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) cells. MDSCs promote polyp formation in the ApcMin/+ model. Hence, Stat6 could have a broad role in coordinating both polyp cell proliferation and MDSC expansion. We found that IL-4–induced Stat6-mediated proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells is augmented by platelet-derived growth factor–BB, a tumor-promoting growth factor. To determine whether polyp progression in ApcMin/+ mice is dependent on Stat6 signaling, we disrupted Stat6 in this model. Total polyps in the small intestine were fewer in ApcMin/+ mice lacking Stat6. Furthermore, proliferation of polyp epithelial cells was reduced, indicating that Stat6 in part controlled polyp formation. Stat6 also promoted expansion of MDSCs in the spleen and lamina propria of ApcMin/+ mice, implying regulation of antitumor T-cell response. More CD8 cells and reduced PD-1 expression on CD4 cells correlated with reduced polyps. In addition, a strong CD8-mediated cytotoxic response led to killing of tumor cells in Stat6-deficient ApcMin/+ mice. Therefore, these findings show that Stat6 has an oncogenic role in intestinal tumorigenesis by promoting polyp cell proliferation and immunosuppressive mediators, and preventing an active cytotoxic process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research