[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several epidemiologic studies have found that smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory disease of the lung, have an increased risk of lung cancer compared with smokers without COPD. We have shown a causal role for COPD-like airway inflammation in lung cancer promotion in the CCSP(Cre)/LSL-K-ras(G12D) mouse model (CC-LR). In contrast, existing epidemiologic data do not suggest any definite association between allergic airway inflammation and lung cancer. To test this, CC-LR mice were sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) and then challenged with an OVA aerosol weekly for 8 weeks. This resulted in eosinophilic lung inflammation associated with increased levels of T helper 2 cytokines and mucous metaplasia of airway epithelium, similar to what is seen in asthmatic patients. However, this type of inflammation did not result in a significant difference in lung surface tumor number (49 ± 9 in OVA vs. 52 ± 5 in control) in contrast to a 3.2-fold increase with COPD-like inflammation. Gene expression analysis of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi)-treated lungs showed upregulation of a different profile of inflammatory genes, including interleukin 6 (IL-6), compared with OVA-treated lungs. Therefore, to determine the causal role of cytokines that mediate COPD-like inflammation in lung carcinogenesis, we genetically ablated IL-6 in CC-LR mice. This not only inhibited intrinsic lung cancer development (1.7-fold) but also inhibited the promoting effect of extrinsic COPD-like airway inflammation (2.6-fold). We conclude that there is a clear specificity for the nature of inflammation in lung cancer promotion, and IL-6 has an essential role in lung cancer promotion.
Cancer Prevention Research 01/2011; 4(1):51-64. · 4.89 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have demonstrated that K-ras mutations in lung epithelial cells elicit inflammation that promotes carcinogenesis in mice (intrinsic inflammation). The finding that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory disease of the lung, have an increased risk of lung cancer after controlling for smoking suggests a further link between lung cancer and extrinsic inflammation. Besides exposure to cigarette smoke, it is thought that airway inflammation in COPD is caused by bacterial colonization, particularly with non-typeable Hemophilus influenzae (NTHi). Previously, we have shown that NTHi-induced COPD-like airway inflammation promotes lung cancer in an airway conditional K-ras-induced mouse model. To further test the role of inflammation in cancer promotion, we administered the natural anti-inflammatory agent, curcumin, 1% in diet before and during weekly NTHi exposure. This significantly reduced the number of visible lung tumors in the absence of NTHi exposure by 85% and in the presence of NTHi exposures by 53%. Mechanistically, curcumin markedly suppressed NTHi-induced increased levels of the neutrophil chemoattractant keratinocyte-derived chemokine by 80% and neutrophils by 87% in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In vitro studies of murine K-ras-induced lung adenocarcinoma cell lines (LKR-10 and LKR-13) indicated direct anti-tumoral effects of curcumin by reducing cell viability, colony formation and inducing apoptosis. We conclude that curcumin suppresses the progression of K-ras-induced lung cancer in mice by inhibiting intrinsic and extrinsic inflammation and by direct anti-tumoral effects. These findings suggest that curcumin could be used to protract the premalignant phase and inhibit lung cancer progression in high-risk COPD patients.