Pepper and Halt: Spicy Chemical May Inhibit Gut Tumors

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that dietary capsaicin – the active ingredient in chili peppers – produces chronic activation of a receptor on cells lining the intestines of mice, triggering a reaction that ultimately reduces the risk of colorectal tumors.

The findings are published in the August 1, 2014 issue of The Journal of Clinical InvestigationRead the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Eyal Raz, MD

Eyal Raz, MD

Senior author of the study is Eyal Raz, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology.

Dr. Lars Eckmann

Lars Eckmann, MD

Department of Medicine faculty coauthors include Lars Eckmann, MD, right, professor of medicine, and Hui Dong, MD, PhD, associate professor, both in the Division of Gastroenterology; and Maripat Corr, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology.

Maripat Corr, MD

Maripat Corr, MD

Blocking Tumor-Induced Inflammation Impacts Cancer Development

How tumors exploit microflora and immune cells to fuel growth

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report the discovery of microbial–dependent mechanisms through which some cancers mount an inflammatory response that fuels their development and growth. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Division of Gastroenterology physician-scientists Bernd Schnabl, MD, and Lars Eckmann, MD, along with former postdoctoral fellow Christoph H. Österreicher are coauthors of the study report.

Dr. Eckmann, professor of medicine, directs the UCSD Center for Tissue Repair, Epithelial Biology and Inflammation, and Transformation (C-TREAT), a National Institutes of Health Digestive Disease Research Development Center. In his research laboratory, he addresses the mechanisms governing infection-related intestinal disease and the host defenses against them; and the pathophysiology of intestinal inflammation.

Dr. Schnabl, assistant professor of medicine, leads a research laboratory whose primary purpose is to investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of chronic liver diseases with a special emphasis on the gut-liver axis. In 2011, he was awarded a five-year R01 research grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for his project, “Microbiome and Intestinal Innate Immune Response in Alcoholic Liver Disease.”

Read the published report in Nature [full text UCSD only]

Citation: Grivennikov SI, Wang K, Mucida D, Stewart CA, Schnabl, B, Jauch D, Taniguchi K, Yu G-Y, Osterreicher CH, Hung KE, Datz C, Feng Y, Fearon ER, Oukka M, Tessarollo L, Coppola V, Yarovinsky F, Cheroutre H, Eckmann L, Trinchieri G, Karin M. Adenoma-linked barrier defects and microbial products drive IL-23/IL-17-mediated tumour growth. Nature 2012/10/03, advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11465.