The Effect Of Inflammatory Status On Butyrate And Folate Uptake By Tumoral (Caco-2) And Non-Tumoral (IEC-6) Intestinal Epithelial Cells

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Institute for Research and Innovation in Health Sciences, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal


Objective: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in occidental countries. Chronic inflammatory bowel disease (crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) is associated with an increased risk for CRC development. The aim of this work was to investigate the relationship between inflammatory status and absorption of nutrients with a role in CRC pathogenesis.
Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, we evaluated the in vitro effect of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interferon-γ (IF-γ), and acetylsalicylic acid on 14C-butyrate (14CBT), 3H-folic acid (3 H-FA) uptake, and on proliferation, viability and differentiation of Caco-2 and IEC-6 cells in culture.
Results: The proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and INF-γ were found to decrease uptake of a low concentration of 14C-BT (10 µM) by Caco-2 (tumoral) and IEC-6 (normal) intestinal epithelial cell lines. However, the effect of TNF-α and INF-γ in IEC-6 cells is most probably related to a cytotoxic and antiproliferative impact. In contrast, INF-γ increases uptake of
a high concentration (10 mM) of 14C-BT in Caco-2 cells. The anticarcinogenic effect of BT (10 mM) in these cells is not affected by the presence of this cytokine. On the other hand, acetylsalicylic acid stimulates 14C-BT uptake by Caco-2 cells and potentiates its antiproliferative effect. Finally, both TNF-α and INF-γ cause a significant decrease in 3H-FA uptake by Caco-2 cells.
Conclusion: The inflammatory status has an impact upon cellular uptake of BT and FA, two nutrients with a role in CRC pathogenesis. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory acetylsalicylic acid potentiates the anticarcinogenic effect of BT in Caco-2 cells by increasing its cellular uptake.