• Open Access

Multistep carcinogenesis of the colon in ApcMin/+ mouse


To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: hidmori@cc.gifu-u.ac.jp


Colon cancer arises through different histological stages representing different genetic and epigenetic alterations. The ApcMin/+ mouse has a point mutation at the Apc gene, and it is considered to be a model for human familial adenomatous polyposis. Our previous studies have revealed the presence of a number of intramucosal microadenomas in the colons of ApcMin/+ mice, in which only a few macroscopic tumors were recognized. These observations suggest that there are two distinct stages for colon carcinogenesis in ApcMin/+ mouse, and the ApcMin/+ mouse is regarded as a good model to study multistage colon carcinogenesis. A number of genes that modify intestinal tumorigenesis have been identified using Apc mutant mice combined with other mutant mice. It has become apparent that epigenetic modification strongly affects intestinal tumorigenesis in ApcMin/+ mice. We herein describe the different stages of colon tumorigenesis and their modifiers, and discuss the possible application of Apc mutant mice in order to better understand the molecular mechanisms of multistage carcinogenesis in the large bowel of humans. (Cancer Sci 2007; 98: 6–10)