Anti-inflammatory natural product goniothalamin reduces colitis-associated and sporadic colorectal tumorigenesis.

PMID 27797827


The tumor microenvironment offers multiple targets for cancer therapy, including pro-tumorigenic inflammation. Natural compounds represent an enormous source of new anti-inflammatory and anticancer agents. We previously showed that the styryl lactone goniothalamin (GTN) has promising antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory activities. Because inflammation is a major driver of colorectal cancer (CRC), we therefore evaluated the therapeutic and preventive potentials of GTN in colitis, colitis-associated cancer (CAC) and spontaneous CRC. First, in a simplistic model of inflammation in vitro, GTN was able to inhibit cytokine production in bone marrow-derived macrophages induced by lipopolysaccharide. Next, in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) induced-colitis model, mice treated with GTN displayed restored tissue architecture, increased cell proliferation in the colonic crypts and reduced epithelial damage. Moreover, colon tissue from GTN-treated mice had significantly less expression of the inflammatory genes interleukin 1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), S100A9, interleukin 23A (IL-23A), IL-22 and IL-17A In the azoxymethane/DSS model of CAC, GTN reduced tumor multiplicity, load and size. Additionally, GTN suppressed production of IL-6, IL-17 and TNF-α in tumor tissue, as well as abrogated stromal immune cell activation and nuclear translocation of NF-κB. Finally, in a tamoxifen inducible model of sporadic CRC, GTN-treated mice had significantly fewer tumors and decreased levels of IL-17A, IL-6, S100A9 and TNF-α protein within the tumors. These results suggest that GTN possesses anti-inflammatory and antitumor activities and represents a preventive and therapeutic agent modulating the inflammatory environment in the colon during colitis as well as CAC and CRC development.