IL-23 directly enhances the proliferative and invasive activities of colorectal carcinoma

Hideyuki Suzuki, Hitoshi Ogawa, Koh Miura, Sho Haneda, Kazuhiro Watanabe, Shinobu Ohnuma, Hiroyuki Sasaki, Tomohiko Sase, Shunichi Kimura, Taiki Kajiwara, Toshihiro Komura, Masahide Toshima, Yasufumi Matsuda, Chikashi Shibata, Iwao Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Interleukin-23 (IL-23) plays an essential role in the mucosal immune system. It has been suggested that IL-23 is  able  to  induce  carcinogenesis  as  well  as  inflammation and a recent study revealed that IL-23R is expressed in colorectal carcinoma cells. However, neither the differences in the IL-23R expression among the patients nor the concrete functions of IL-23 in colorectal carcinoma cells have been revealed. The aim of the present study was to examine the characteristics of IL-23R expression in colorectal carcinoma and the direct effects of IL-23 on colorectal cancer cells. We examined the IL-23R expression in human colorectal cancer tissue samples by immunohistochemistry. Cell proliferation and invasion assays under IL-23 stimulation were performed using cultured cells derived from colorectal cancer. ELISA and real-time PCR were used to evaluate the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β production due to IL-23 stimulation. All of the TNM stage IV patients were positive for IL-23R. IL-23R expression in the carcinoma tissue was also relatively high at the deepest point of invasion in certain cases. The proliferative and invasive activities and/or TGF-β production of DLD-1 cells increased by IL-23 stimulation, whereas no change was observed in the activities of MIP101 and KM12c cells. IL-23 directly enhanced the malignancy of the colon carcinoma cells. An autocrine mechanism via TGF-β production may underlie these effects. IL-23 is therefore a potential target for cancer immunotherapy. However, the homogeneity in IL-23R expression and the effects of IL-23 on colorectal carcinoma cells should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-204
Number of pages6
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug


  • Colorectal carcinoma
  • Interleukin-23
  • Interleukin-23 receptor
  • Transforming growth factor-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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