Differential preventive activity of sulindac and atorvastatin in Apc+/Min-FCCCmice with or without colorectal adenomas

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OBJECTIVE: The response of subjects to preventive intervention is heterogeneous. The goal of this study was to determine if the efficacy of a chemopreventive agent differs in non-tumour-bearing animals versus those with colorectal tumours. Sulindac and/or atorvastatin was administered to Apc +/Min-FCCC mice with known tumour-bearing status at treatment initiation.

DESIGN: Male mice (6-8 weeks old) underwent colonoscopy and received control chow or chow with sulindac (300 ppm), atorvastatin (100 ppm) or sulindac/atorvastatin. Tissues were collected from mice treated for 14 weeks (histopathology) or 7 days (gene expression). Cell cycle analyses were performed on SW480 colon carcinoma cells treated with sulindac, atorvastatin or both.

RESULTS: The multiplicity of colorectal adenomas in untreated mice bearing tumours at baseline was 3.6-fold higher than that of mice that were tumour free at baseline (P=0.002). Atorvastatin completely inhibited the formation of microadenomas in mice that were tumour free at baseline (P=0.018) and altered the expression of genes associated with stem/progenitor cells. Treatment of tumour-bearing mice with sulindac/atorvastatin led to a 43% reduction in the multiplicity of colorectal adenomas versus untreated tumour-bearing mice (P=0.049). Sulindac/atorvastatin increased the expression of Hoxb13 and Rprm significantly, suggesting the importance of cell cycle regulation in tumour inhibition. Treatment of SW480 cells with sulindac/atorvastatin led to cell cycle arrest (G0/G1).

CONCLUSIONS: The tumour status of animals at treatment initiation dictates response to therapeutic intervention. Atorvastatin eliminated microadenomas in tumour-free mice. The tumour inhibition observed with Sul/Atorva in tumour-bearing mice was greater than that achieved with each agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1290-1298
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Adenoma/etiology
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use
  • Atorvastatin/therapeutic use
  • Colorectal Neoplasms/etiology
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Sulindac/therapeutic use


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