, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 779-787

Effects of Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibition on Serum and Tumor Gastrins and Expression of Apoptosis-Related Proteins in Colorectal Cancer

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The objective of the present study was to determine the influence of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibition by Celecoxib (CLX) in humans with distal colorectal adenocarcinoma (CRC) on serum and tumor levels of progastrin and gastrin and serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-8, TNF-α). In addition, the effects of this CLX treatment on tumor and adjacent mucosa expression of gastrin, its receptors (CCK2), and COX-1 and COX-2, as well as protein expression of the active form of nuclear factor κ B (NFκ B) and the apoptotic-related proteins Bcl-2 and survivin, have been examined. Ten distal CRC patients were examined twice, once before and then after 14-day treatment with CLX (200 mg bid). Large biopsy samples were taken from the tumor and intact mucosa 10 cm above the tumor. For comparison, 20 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled and treated with CLX as CRC patients. Serum levels of IL-8 and TNF-α were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and serum levels of amidated gastrins and progastrin, by specific radioimmunoassay. The gene or protein expressions of progastrin, gastrin, CCK2, COX-1, COX-2, Bcl-2, and survivin as well as NFκ B were determined by RT-PCR or Western blot in biopsy samples of tumor and intact mucosa of CRC patients. Serum IL-8 and TNF-α values were severalfold higher in CRC patients than in controls. The increase in serum proinflammatory cytokines was accompanied by increased expression of the active form of NFκ B. Serum progastrin levels were also found to be significantly higher in CRC than in controls. Treatment of CRC with CLX resulted in a significant decrease in serum levels of progastrin and this was accompanied by an increment in tumor expression of COX-2 with a concomitant reduction in gastrin, Bcl-2, survivin, and NFκ B expression. We conclude that (1) distal CRC patients show significantly higher serum progastrin levels than matched healthy controls, confirming that this hormone may be implicated in rectal carcinogenesis; (2) CRC patients exhibit significantly higher serum levels of IL-8 and TNF-α than healthy controls, probably reflecting more widespread inflammatory reaction in the colonic mucosa in CRC; (3) gastrin, COX-2, Bcl-2, survivin, and NFκ B were overexpressed in CRC tumor compared to intact mucosa, but treatment with CLX significantly reduced serum levels of progastrin and IL-8 and TNF-α, which could mediate the up-regulation of COX-2 in CRC; and (4) CLX also enhanced expression of COX-2, while inhibiting the expression of gastrin, Bcl-2, survivin, and NFκ B, suggesting that COX-2 inhibition might be useful in chemoprevention against CRC, possibly due to suppression of the antiapoptotic proteins and reduction in progastrin-induced and NFκ B-promoted tumor growth.