Hedgehog blockade remodels the gut microbiota and the intestinal effector CD8+ T cells in a mouse model of mammary carcinoma

Academic Article


  • Given the gut microbiome’s rise as a potential frontier in cancer pathogenesis and therapy, leveraging microbial analyses in the study of breast tumor progression and treatment could unveil novel interactions between commensal bacteria and disease outcomes. In breast cancer, the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is a potential target for treatment due to its aberrant activation leading to poorer prognoses and drug resistance. There are limited studies that have investigated the influences of orally administered cancer therapeutics, such as Vismodegib (a pharmacological, clinically used Hh inhibitor) on the gut microbiota. Using a 4T1 mammary carcinoma mouse model and 16 S rRNA sequencing, we longitudinally mapped alterations in immunomodulating gut microbes during mammary tumor development. Next, we identified changes in the abundance of commensal microbiota in response to Vismodegib treatment of 4T1 mammary tumor-bearing mice. In addition to remodeling gut microbiota, Vismodegib treatment elicited an increase in proliferative CD8+ T cells in the colonic immune network, without any remarkable gastrointestinal-associated side effects. To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess longitudinal changes in the gut microbiome during mammary tumor development and progression. Our study also pioneers an investigation of the dynamic effects of an orally delivered Hh inhibitor on the gut microbiome and the gut-associated immune-regulatory adaptive effector CD8+ T cells. These findings inform future comprehensive studies on the consortium of altered microbes that can impact potential systemic immunomodulatory roles of Vismodegib.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hinshaw DC; Swain CA; Chen D; Hanna A; Molina PA; Maynard CL; Lee G; McFarland BC; Samant RS; Shevde LA
  • Start Page

  • 1236
  • End Page

  • 1244
  • Volume

  • 102
  • Issue

  • 11