Published: 1 April 2022
Gut dysbiosis has been associated with intestinal and extraintestinal malignancies, but whether and how carcinogenesis drives compositional shifts of the microbiome to its own benefit remains an open conundrum. Here, we show that malignant processes can cause ileal mucosa atrophy, with villous microvascular constriction associated with dominance of sympathetic over cholinergic signaling. The rapid onset of tumorigenesis induced a burst of REG3γ release by ileal cells, and transient epithelial barrier permeability that culminated in overt and long-lasting dysbiosis dominated by Gram-positive Clostridium species. Pharmacologic blockade of β-adrenergic receptors or genetic deficiency in Adrb2 gene, vancomycin, or cohousing of tumor bearers with tumor-free littermates prevented cancer-induced ileopathy, eventually slowing tumor growth kinetics. Patients with cancer harbor distinct hallmarks of this stress ileopathy dominated by Clostridium species. Hence, stress ileopathy is a corollary disease of extraintestinal malignancies requiring specific therapies.
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