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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Increased gene expression of brown fat uncoupling protein (UCP)1 and skeletal muscle UCP2 and UCP3 in MAC16-induced cancer cachexia.

Weight loss in cancer cachexia is attributable to decreased food intake and/or enhanced energy expenditure. We investigated the roles of the uncoupling proteins (UCPs) UCPI, -2, and -3 in a murine model of cachexia, the MAC16 adenocarcinoma. Weight fell to 24% below that of non-tumor-bearing controls (P < 0.01) 18 days after MAC16 inoculation, with significant reductions in fat-pad mass (-67%; P < 0.01) and muscle mass (-20%; P < 0.01). Food intake was 26-60% lower (P < 0.01) than in controls on days 17-18. Non-tumor-bearing mice, pair-fed to match MAC16-induced hypophagia, showed less weight loss (10% below controls, P < 0.01; 16% above MAC-16, P < 0.01) and smaller decreases in fat-pad mass (21% below controls, P < 0.01). Core temperature in MAC16 mice was significantly lower (-2.4 degrees C, P < 0.01) than in controls, and pair-feeding had no effect. MAC16 mice showed significantly higher UCP1 mRNA levels in brown adipose tissue (BAT) than in controls (+63%, P < 0.01), and pair-feeding had no effect. UCP2 and -3 expression in BAT did not differ significantly between groups. By contrast, UCP2 mRNA levels in skeletal muscle were comparably increased in both MAC16 and pair-fed groups (respectively, 183 and 163% above controls; both, P < 0.05), with no significant difference between these two groups. Similarly, UCP3 mRNA was significantly higher than controls in both MAC16 (+163%, P < 0.05) and pair-fed (+253%, P < 0.01) groups, with no significant difference between the two experimental groups. Overexpression of UCP1 in BAT in MAC16-bearing mice may be an adaptive response to hypothermia, which is apparently induced by tumor products; increased thermogenesis in BAT could increase total energy expenditure and, thus, contribute to tissue wasting. Increased UCP2 and -3 expression in muscle are both attributable to reduced food intake and may be involved in lipid utilization during lipolysis in MAC16-induced cachexia.[1]


  1. Increased gene expression of brown fat uncoupling protein (UCP)1 and skeletal muscle UCP2 and UCP3 in MAC16-induced cancer cachexia. Bing, C., Brown, M., King, P., Collins, P., Tisdale, M.J., Williams, G. Cancer Res. (2000) [Pubmed]
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