Tumor necrosis factor-alpha mediates changes in tissue protein turnover in a rat cancer cachexia model

J Clin Invest. 1993 Dec;92(6):2783-9. doi: 10.1172/JCI116897.


Rats bearing the Yoshida AH-130 ascites hepatoma showed enhanced fractional rates of protein degradation in gastrocnemius muscle, heart, and liver, while fractional synthesis rates were similar to those in non-tumor bearing rats. This hypercatabolic pattern was associated with marked perturbations of the hormonal homeostasis and presence of tumor necrosis factor in the circulation. The daily administration of a goat anti-murine TNF IgG to tumor-bearing rats decreased protein degradation rates in skeletal muscle, heart, and liver as compared with tumor-bearing rats receiving a nonimmune goat IgG. The anti-TNF treatment was also effective in attenuating early perturbations in insulin and corticosterone homeostasis. Although these results suggest that tumor necrosis factor plays a significant role in mediating the changes in protein turnover and hormone levels elicited by tumor growth, the inability of such treatment to prevent a reduction in body weight implies that other mediators or tumor-related events were also involved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cachexia / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin G / pharmacology*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Organ Specificity
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reference Values
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology*


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha