• colon cancer;
  • high-fat diet;
  • angiogenesis;
  • metastasis;
  • inflammation


We evaluated whether high-fat diet (HFD), in the absence of increased calorie intake, increases colon cancer growth and metastasis. Four-week-old male BALB/c mice were fed on an HFD (60 kcal% fat) or control diet (10 kcal% fat) for 16 wk, after which CT26 colon cancer cells were subcutaneously injected into the right flank. Solid tumor growth and the number and volume of tumor nodules in the lung were increased markedly in the HFD group with only a slight increase in body weight (5.9%). HFD feeding increased tumor tissue levels of Ki67, cyclin A, cyclin D1, CDK2, Bcl-xL, and Bcl-2; reduced p53 levels and TUNEL-positive apoptotic cells; increased the levels of CD45, CD68, CD31, VEGF, P-VEGF receptor-2, iNOS, and COX-2 as well as hemoglobin content; and increased the levels of HIF-1α, P-STAT3-Y705, P-STAT3-S727, P-IκB-α, P-p65, p65, P-c-Jun, P-Akt, P-ERK1/2, P-p38, and P-SAPK/JNK. HFD feeding increased the serum levels of EGF, insulin, IGF-I, IFN-γ, leptin, RANTES, MCP-1, IL-1ra, and SDF-1α and media conditioned by epididymal fat tissue explants from HFD-fed mice caused an increase in microvessel outgrowth from the mouse aorta and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. These results indicate that the chronic consumption of an HFD increases colon cancer cell proliferation, tumor angiogenesis, and lung metastasis in mice in the absence of discernible weight gain. HFD feeding increases the levels of growth factors which activate transcription factors, thereby inducing the expression of many genes involved in the stimulation of inflammation, angiogenesis, and cellular proliferation. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.