Colitis Induces Sex-Specific Intestinal Transcriptomic Responses in Mice.

Hases L, Birgersson M, Indukuri R, Archer A, Williams C

Int J Mol Sci 23 (18) - [2022-09-08; online 2022-09-08]

There are significant sex differences in colorectal cancer (CRC), including in incidence, onset, and molecular characteristics. Further, while inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a risk factor for CRC in both sexes, men with IBD have a 60% higher risk of developing CRC compared to women. In this study, we investigated sex differences during colitis-associated CRC (CAC) using a chemically induced CAC mouse model. The mice were treated with azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) and followed for 9 and 15 weeks. We performed RNA-sequencing of colon samples from males (n = 15) and females (n = 15) to study different stages of inflammation and identify corresponding transcriptomic sex differences in non-tumor colon tissue. We found a significant transcriptome response to AOM/DSS treatment in both sexes, including in pathways related to inflammation and cell proliferation. Notably, we found a stronger response in males and that male-specific differentially expressed genes were involved in NFκB signaling and circadian rhythm. Further, an overrepresented proportion of male-specific gene regulations were predicted to be targets of Stat3, whereas for females, targets of the glucocorticoid receptor (Gr/Nr3c1) were overrepresented. At 15 weeks, the most apparent sex difference involved genes with functions in T cell proliferation, followed by the regulation of demethylases. The majority of sex differences were thus related to inflammation and the immune system. Our novel data, profiling the transcriptomic response to chemically induced colitis and CAC, indicate clear sex differences in CRC initiation and progression.

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NGI Stockholm (Genomics Production) [Service]

National Genomics Infrastructure [Service]

PubMed 36142324

DOI 10.3390/ijms231810408

Crossref 10.3390/ijms231810408

pmc: PMC9499483
pii: ijms231810408

Publications 9.5.0