Abdominal obesity, independent from caloric intake, accounts for the development of intestinal tumors in Apc1638N/+ female mice

Derek M. Huffman, Leonard H. Augenlicht, Xueying Zhang, John J. Lofrese, Gil Atzmon, John P. Chamberland, Christos S. Mantzoros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine whether visceral fat (VF), independent of other confounders, is causally linked to intestinal tumorigenesis, we surgically removed visceral fat in Apc1638/N+ mice. At 15 weeks of age, male and female Apc 1638/N+ mice were randomized to one of three groups: ad libitum, visceral fat removal (VF-) and ad libitum fed, or caloric restriction, and were studied for effects on tumorigenesis and survival. As compared with ad libitum, VF- and caloric restriction reduced macroadenomas to a similar extent (P < 0.05), but only caloric restriction significantly improved survival (P < 0.05). Given that a significant group × gender interaction was observed, we next examined males and females separately. In females, macroadenomas were markedly attenuated by VF - (1.33 ± 0.23 mean ± SE; P < 0.05), but not by caloric restriction (2.35 ± 0.25; P = 0.71), as compared with ad libitum (2.50 ± 0.34). In males, however, caloric restriction (1.71 ± 0.26; P<0.01), but not VF- (2.94 ± 0.42; P = 0.29), reduced macroadenomas, as compared with ad libitum males (3.47 ± 0.30). In females, both VF- (P = 0.05) and caloric restriction (P < 0.01) improved survival, but not in male mice (P = 0.15). The benefits observed with caloric restriction were consistent with favorable metabolic adaptations, but protection conferred in VF - females was despite lower adiponectin levels (P < 0.05), and failure to reduce body mass, total adiposity, glucose, insulin, leptin, and chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL-1) levels. In conclusion, these data provide the first causal evidence linking visceral fat to intestinal cancer risk, and suggest that factors, other than known metabolic mediators, may impact tumor development. Furthermore, these data emphasize that strategies designed to deplete visceral fat stores in humans should be considered in the prevention of intestinal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-187
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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