[Possible Involvement of Insulin Resistance in the Progression of Cancer Cachexia in Mice]

Yakugaku Zasshi. 2016;136(5):687-92. doi: 10.1248/yakushi.15-00262-1.
[Article in Japanese]


Malnutrition is a common problem among cancer patients, affecting up to 85% of patients with certain cancers. In severe cases, malnutrition can progress to cachexia, a specific form of malnutrition characterized by loss of lean body mass and muscle wasting. Although this muscle wasting might be a product of enhanced protein degradation, the precise mechanisms of cancer cachexia are not fully elucidated. Based on basic and clinical research, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance have been postulated to be associated with cancer cachexia. Since insulin in the skeletal muscle inhibits protein degradation and promotes protein synthesis, insulin resistance could be a possible cause of cancer cachexia. Therefore, we investigated the involvement of insulin resistance in the development of cancer cachexia in tumor-bearing mice. The signaling protein in the insulin cascade was attenuated in the skeletal muscle and hypothalamus from tumor-bearing mice. We identified Chrysanthemum morifolium RAMAT., known as Kikuka, as a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) ligand. Treatment with Kikuka attenuates the skeletal muscle changes in tumor-bearing mice. These results suggest that this natural PPARγ activator might be an attractive candidate for the treatment of cancer cachexia. In the symposium, we presented the PPARγ activator-induced improvement of cancer cachexia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cachexia / drug therapy*
  • Cachexia / etiology*
  • Chrysanthemum*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Glucose Intolerance / etiology
  • Humans
  • Insulin / physiology*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Ligands
  • Malnutrition / etiology
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • PPAR gamma
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Proteolysis


  • Insulin
  • Ligands
  • PPAR gamma
  • Plant Extracts