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Genetic Deficiency Of The Histamine H4-Receptor Reduces Experimental Colorectal Carcinogenesis In Mice

Bastian Schirmer, Tamina Rother, Inga Bruesch, Andre Bleich, Christopher Werlein, Danny Jonigk, Roland Seifert, Detlef Neumann

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Colorectal cancer (CRC), a severe complication of inflammatory bowel diseases, is a common type of cancer and accounts for high mortality. CRC can be modeled in mice by application of the tumor promoter, azoxymethane (AOM), in combination with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS), which are able to induce colitis-like manifestations. Active colitis correlates with high mucosal concentrations of histamine, which, together with the histamine receptor subtype 4 (H4R), provide a pro-inflammatory function in a mouse colitis model. Here, we analyzed whether H4R is involved in the pathogenesis of AOM/DSS-induced CRC in mice. As compared to wild type (WT) mice, AOM/DSS-treated mice lacking H4R expression (TM) demonstrate ameliorated signs of CRC, i.e., significantly reduced loss of body weight, stiffer stool consistency, and less severe perianal bleeding. Importantly, numbers and diameters of tumors and the degree of colonic inflammation are dramatically reduced in TM mice as compared to WT mice. This is concomitant with a reduced colonic inflammatory response involving expression of cyclooxygenase 2 and the production of C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 1 (CXCL1) and CXCL2. We conclude that H4R is involved in the tumorigenesis of chemically-induced CRC in mice via cyclooxygenase 2 expression and, probably, CXCL1 and CXCL2 as effector molecules.