Losartan and Vitamin D Inhibit Colonic Tumor Development in a Conditional Apc-Deleted Mouse Model of Sporadic Colon Cancer.


Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. [Email]


Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths. The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is upregulated in colorectal cancer, and epidemiologic studies suggest RAS inhibitors reduce cancer risk. Because vitamin D (VD) receptor negatively regulates renin, we examined anticancer efficacy of VD and losartan (L), an angiotensin receptor blocker. Control Apc+/LoxP mice and tumor-forming Apc+/LoxP Cdx2P-Cre mice were randomized to unsupplemented Western diet (UN), or diets supplemented with VD, L, or VD+L, the latter to assess additive or synergistic effects. At 6 months, mice were killed. Plasma Ca2+, 25(OH)D3, 1α, 25(OH)2D3, renin, and angiotensin II (Ang II) were quantified. Colonic transcripts were assessed by qPCR and proteins by immunostaining and blotting. Cancer incidence and tumor burden were significantly lower in Cre+ VD and Cre+ L, but not in the Cre+ VD+L group. In Apc+/LoxP mice, VD increased plasma 1,25(OH)2D3 and colonic VDR. In Apc+/LoxP-Cdx2P-Cre mice, plasma renin and Ang II, and colonic tumor AT1, AT2, and Cyp27B1 were increased and VDR downregulated. L increased, whereas VD decreased plasma renin and Ang II in Cre+ mice. VD or L inhibited tumor development, while exerting differential effects on plasma VD metabolites and RAS components. We speculate that AT1 is critical for tumor development, whereas RAS suppression plays a key role in VD chemoprevention. When combined with L, VD no longer increases active VD and colonic VDR in Cre- mice nor suppresses renin and Ang II in Cre+ mice, likely contributing to lack of chemopreventive efficacy of the combination.