The azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) murine model is commonly used to study colitis-associated cancer. The human commensal bacterium, enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) secretes the Bacteroides fragilis toxin (BFT) which is necessary and sufficient to cause colitis. We report that BALB/c mice infected with WT-ETBF and administered three cycles of AOM/DSS developed numerous, large-sized polyps predominantly in the colorectal region. In addition, AOM/DSS-treated BALB/c mice orally inoculated with wild-type nontoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (WT-NTBF) overexpressing bft (rETBF) developed numerous polyps whereas mice infected with WT-NTBF overexpressing a biologically inactive bft (rNTBF) did not promote polyp formation. Unexpectedly, the combination of AOM+ETBF did not induce polyp formation whereas ETBF+DSS did induce polyp development in a subset of BALB/c mice. In conclusion, WT-ETBF promoted polyp development in AOM/DSS murine model with increased colitis in BALB/c mice. The model described herein provides an experimental platform for understanding ETBF-induced colonic tumorigenesis and studying colorectal cancer in wild-type mice.
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