Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF), a human commensal and candidate pathogen in colorectal cancer (CRC), is a potent initiator of interleukin-17 (IL-17)-dependent colon tumorigenesis in Min Apc+/-mice. We examined the role of IL-17 and ETBF on the differentiation of myeloid cells into myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and tumor-Associated macrophages, which are known to promote tumorigenesis. The myeloid compartment associated with ETBF-induced colon tumorigenesis in Min mice was defined using flow cytometry and gene expression profiling. Cell-sorted immature myeloid cells were functionally assayed for inhibition of T-cell proliferation and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression to delineate MDSC populations. A comparison of ETBF infection with that of other oncogenic bacteria (Fusobacterium nucleatum or pks + Escherichia coli) revealed a specific, ETBF-Associated colonic immune infiltrate. ETBF-Triggered colon tumorigenesis is associated with an IL-17-driven myeloid signature characterized by subversion of steady-state myelopoiesis in favor of the generation of protumoral monocytic-MDSCs (MO-MDSCs). Combined action of the B. fragilis enterotoxin BFT and IL-17 on colonic epithelial cells promoted the differentiation of MO-MDSCs, which selectively upregulated Arg1 and Nos2, produced NO, and suppressed T-cell proliferation. Evidence of a pathogenic inflammatory signature in humans colonized with ETBF may allow for the identification of populations at risk for developing colon cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy