Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Biomedical Science

First Advisor

Angela Murphy


Obesity is widely correlated with the incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC). The exact mechanisms that link obesity to CRC risk have not yet been fully established, and only a limited number of animal models are available to study pathways involved in obesity-related colon carcinogenesis. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of HFD-induced obesity on AOM/DSS-mediated colorectal tumorigenesis, tumor proliferation, and symptom severity. Male C57BL/6 mice were fed a novel high fat diet, designed to mimic the standard American diet (12 % saturated fat & 28 % unsaturated fat), at 4 weeks of age until 16 weeks of age to induce obesity. At 16 weeks of age HFD-fed mice had significantly increased mean body mass compared to LFD-fed mice. Thus, mice were obese prior to initiation of CRC. Following treatment with AOM/DSS, study results indicated no significant changes in tumor number or size with obesity. Similarly, obesity did not increase the severity of symptoms in this model. These findings challenge previously published data, with the caveat that the low number of tumors detected in the present model limits translational implications for tumor characteristics and symptom severity in obesity.


© 2013, Kennerly Clinton Patrick