There is increasing evidence that gut microbiome perturbations, also known as dysbiosis, can influence colorectal cancer development. To understand the mechanisms by which the gut microbiome modulates cancer susceptibility, we examine two wild-type mouse colonies with distinct gut microbial communities that develop significantly different tumor numbers using a mouse model of inflammation-associated tumorigenesis. We demonstrate that adaptive immune cells contribute to the different tumor susceptibilities associated with the two microbial communities. Mice that develop more tumors have increased colon lamina propria CD8+ IFNγ+ T cells before tumorigenesis but reduced CD8+ IFNγ+ T cells in tumors and adjacent tissues compared with mice that develop fewer tumors. Notably, intratumoral T cells in mice that develop more tumors exhibit increased exhaustion.
Thus, these studies suggest that microbial dysbiosis can contribute to colon tumor susceptibility by hyperstimulating CD8 T cells to promote chronic inflammation and early T cell exhaustion, which can reduce anti-tumor immunity.
Read more at: Cell Reports