Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Cachexia frequently occurs in the late stages of cancer, and is difficult to manage. We previously reported that interleukin-6 (IL-6) cDNA transfection into Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC-IL6) induced cachexia-like symptoms in C57BL/6 mice. This was thought to be a useful experimental model of cancer cachexia. We have examined the effects of two eicosanoids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), in order to evaluate whether they could relieve cachexia. LLC-IL6-bearing animals were divided into three treatment groups receiving DHA, EPA or water as the control; 80-μl samples of these compounds (purity〉95%) were administered orally by catheter daily starting 7 days after tumor transplantation. Tumor growth curves were similar in the three groups. There were no differences in water or food intake in the three groups. However, body weight, a marker of cachexia, was significantly higher in treated mice than in the control group. Sixteen days after tumor transplantation, the mean body weight was 17.45 g (P〈0.05), 17.2 g and 16.41 g in the groups receiving DHA, EPA and water respectively. The eicosanoids did not affect serum levels of IL-6. Ubiquitination of muscle protein, a marker of proteolysis coupled to cachexia, was compared in LLC-IL6-and LLC-transplanted mice. The eicosanoids prevented the ubiquitination of approximately 180 kDa protein. These results suggest that eicosanoids may prevent the cachexia mediated by IL-6.
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