The metabolic response of tumour-bearing mice to fasting

Br J Cancer. 1985 Oct;52(4):619-23. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1985.235.


The suggestion that the ketonaemic response to fasting may be altered in the tumour-bearing state was investigated by studying the metabolism of fasted C57/BL6j mice bearing transplanted B16 melanomas. Ketone body (D-3-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate) concentrations in the blood of the tumour-bearing mice were significantly increased after a 24 h fast compared to control mice with identical dietary histories. Hepatic glycogen levels were lower at the start of the fasting period in the tumour-bearing mice as were the fat stores. The loss of adipose tissue during the fasting period was greater in the tumour-bearing mice. After 48 h of fasting, the ketonaemia was significantly lower in the tumour-bearing mice compared to the appropriate controls. Two distinct metabolic states are indicated in these fasted tumour-bearing mice, one characterised by accelerated ketonaemia, and a later, near terminal stage, where fat deposits are markedly depleted and ketonaemia is decreased.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid
  • Acetoacetates / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Fasting*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Hydroxybutyrates / metabolism
  • Ketone Bodies / metabolism
  • Lactates / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver Glycogen / metabolism
  • Male
  • Melanoma / blood
  • Melanoma / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Pyruvates / metabolism


  • Acetoacetates
  • Blood Glucose
  • Hydroxybutyrates
  • Ketone Bodies
  • Lactates
  • Liver Glycogen
  • Pyruvates
  • Glucose
  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid