Journal of cancer research and clinical oncology

The chemokine CXCL9 exacerbates chemotherapy-induced acute intestinal damage through inhibition of mucosal restitution.

PMID 25398650


Acute intestinal damage induced by chemotherapeutic agent is often a dose-limiting factor in clinical cancer therapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of chemokine CXCL9 on the intestinal damage after chemotherapy and explore the therapeutic potential of anti-CXCL9 agents. In vitro cell proliferation assay was performed with a non-tumorigenic human epithelial cell line MCF10A. Multiple pathway analysis was carried out to explore the pathway that mediated the effect of CXCL9, and the corresponding downstream effector was identified with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Chemotherapy-induced mouse model of intestinal mucositis was prepared by a single injection of the chemotherapeutic agent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). In vivo expression of cxcl9 and its receptor cxcr3 in intestinal mucosa after chemotherapy was determined by quantitative real-time PCR. Therapeutic treatment with anti-CXCL9 antibodies was investigated to confirm the hypothesis that CXCL9 can contribute to the intestinal epithelium damage induced by chemotherapy. CXCL9 inhibited the proliferation of MCF10A cells by activating phosphorylation of p70 ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6K), which further promotes the secretion of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) as the downstream effector. A blockade of phospho-p70S6K with inhibitor abolished the effect of CXCL9 on MCF10A cells and reduced the secretion of TGF-β. The expression levels of cxcl9 and cxcr3 were significantly up-regulated in intestinal mucosa after 5-FU injection. Neutralizing elevated CXCL9 with anti-CXCR9 antibodies successfully enhanced reconstitution of intestinal mucosa and improved the survival rate of mice that received high-dose chemotherapy. CXCL9 inhibits the proliferation of epithelial cells via phosphorylation of p70S6K, resulting in the excretion of TGF-β as downstream mediator. CXCL9/CXCR3 interaction can exacerbate chemotherapeutic agent-induced intestinal damage, and anti-CXCL9 agents are potential novel therapeutic candidates for promoting mucosal restitution.