Progastrin stimulates murine colonic epithelial mitosis after DNA damage

Penelope D Ottewell, Alastair J M Watson, Timothy C Wang, Andrea Varro, Graham J Dockray, D.Mark Pritchard

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Background & Aims: Transgenic mice that overexpress progastrin are more susceptible than either wild-type mice or mice that overexpress amidated gastrin to chemical carcinogen-induced colonic adenomas. We have investigated whether alterations in the regulation of apoptosis or mitosis after DNA damage contribute to the effects of progastrin on murine colonic epithelium.

Methods: Apoptosis and mitosis were assessed on a cell positional basis in murine intestinal epithelium after γ-irradiation. Mice analyzed were progastrin overexpressing, gastrin overexpressing, gastrin knockout, and their wild-type counterparts. The expression of cell cycle regulators was analyzed by gene array and Western blotting.

Results: Apoptosis was induced to similar levels in the small intestinal and colonic crypts of all mice 4.5 hours after 8 Gy γ-radiation. Colonic mitosis was inhibited to almost undetectable levels by 8Gy γ-radiation in wild-type, gastrin-knockout, and gastrin-overexpressing mice. However, significant colonic mitosis persisted in progastrin-overexpressing mice up to 24 hours after 8Gy γ-radiation. Increased levels of cdk4 and cyclin D1 proteins were found in the colonic epithelium of progastrin-overexpressing mice relative to wild-type animals after γ-radiation.

Conclusions: After DNA damage by γ-radiation, mice with elevated progastrin exhibit significantly higher levels of colonic mitosis than wild-type or gastrin-overexpressing mice. Persistently elevated cdk4 and cyclin D1 in progastrin overexpressing mice accounts for the capacity of colon cells to continue with the cell cycle after DNA damage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1357
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2003

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